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MAY 2018 ISSUE 8 VOLUME 21 Independently audited. ABC circulation of 4,204 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017

Distributed in the UK by Clever Clogs Trading.











contents Re g ul a r s the team Editor Penny Franks


12 16 18

Ad Manager


Christine Contreras


Design Production Director


Contributors 28


your proposition relevant to today’s consumer

file Retailer Pro p Talking Sho apshot Supplier Sn

(part two).


Ross Hewitt This issue Ross goes fishing.


cts New Produ roducts The Baby P

Barking Mad John Barker takes a look at the highs and lows of social media.

n Associatio


Paul Naish


NSG Intelligent Retail David Fairhurst runs us through why fresh,


unique content is key to success.

Mark Naish


Managing Director Malcolm Naish

Cover Story 14

Circulation Robert Thomas

The Insights People Nick Richardson takes a look at how to make


Petunia Pickle Bottom


Lema Publishing Ltd 1 Churchgates, The Wilderness, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2UB Telephone: 01442 289930


Changing Bags & Accessories


Breast Pumps & Accessories




Oral Care


Tech Products

p40 Subscription per annum: UK £40, Europe £50 (surface), £60 (airmail)

A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation

p50 p46

Everyone will simply love Owl Friends, the latest fashion from BreathableBaby, This cute design in story time format will decorate any cot to create a pretty and safe environment for baby For further information, please contact





flat out finest


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meet i-Level™

For all sales enquiries, please contact Joie UK on 01889 808 900 or email:

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A dreamy day-tripper that does more than most when on the roam or even at home. With i-Size security plus stretch and snooze Intelli-Snug™ tilt for a healthier, safer, cosier carrier.

editor’s letter Twitter: @nurserytodaymag

ast month saw the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate’s third child Louis Arthur Charles, who weighed in at a healthy 8lb 7oz. With this news could we potentially see an increase in demand for certain products or brands that may be spotted by eager eyed parents who are keen to know what Kate and William have favoured as a carseat, pram, toy or clothing? Or course an example of this comes from the first day the world was introduced to baby Louis as the couple stopped to greet well-wishers on the steps of London’s St Mary’s Hospital on Monday 23rd April. The Royal couple again chose the Britax Romer BabySafe Infant Carrier, as used for both George and Charlotte, to transport baby Louis safely home, which featured a cover by Spanish brand Pasito a Pasito. Will these products see an increase in demand by the consumer? Social Media will be at it’s strongest over the following months and for any brands or products who are lucky enough to be seen


Boxy Backpack: Take a look at Petunia Pickle Bottom

Royal arrival: The world welcomes Louis Arthur Charles

being used by the Royal couple will provide a valuable opportunity for them and retailers. The world and of course the nursery trade, will be keeping an eye on trends that the new arrival may bring to our sector. Of course, this though will create a need amongst everyone to be prepared to act quickly and place orders as and when images emerge with products that could create a buzz. While talking Royalty, the Queens Awards have also been announced, with winners of a coveted award from the nursery trade being included, such as Cheeky Chompers, Green Sheep Group and Harrison Spinks, giving these companies fantastic kudos at a time where all eyes are focussed firmly on the Royal family. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are awarded to businesses for outstanding achievement in International Trade, I Innovation, Sustainable D Development and Promoting O Opportunity (through social m mobility), to recognise businesses w promote social mobility. who In a recent Queens Award s survey 76% reported the win had b brought added commercial value to their business and 55% reported the win had delivered new business opportunities. The Baby Products Association have announced a key date for your diary. Their Annual General Meeting will take place on the 19th June at the Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London. This is a fantastic opportunity that

provides a valuable networking opportunity for its members and information on relevant industry related topics. Turn to the BPA Notice Board in this issue (page 54) or visit where you will also find details on how to become a BPA member. Talking of dates, it is the final shout out for all those keen golfers out there! Preparations for our annual Golf Day are now in full swing! The event will take place at Puckrup Hall near Tewkesbury on the 27th June. If you haven’t already secured your place, why not drop Malcolm Naish an email: or give him a call on 01442 289930 and he will be happy to give you further information. Or alternatively take a look at our Golf Day advert on page 45. Our front cover this month features Petunia Pickle Bottom. Turn to page 14 where you can find out more about this Californian brand who has become known for their stylish and functional changing bags and accessories, offering top quality products where fashion fuses with function. Finally, this issue we bring you a host of features starting with Changing Bags & Accessories (page 20), Breast Pumps & Accessories (page 32), Plush (page 40), Oral Care (page 46) and Tech Products (page 50) - happy reading!

Star performers from Nattou 01278 434440

nursery today


news Keeping baby socks on!

w Ne ner s sig De k On e c So vailabl ! a

w no

Cheeky award Cheeky Chompers has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for business success. The Edinburgh based multi award-winning brand behind the original chewy dribble bib, the Neckerchew, has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2018. The award will be presented by the Queen at a reception held at Buckingham Palace. Web:

Halilit clarify position regarding Battat

Foot finderr toys that actually ally stay on! n!!

In light of the recent news regarding some of Battat’s other brands, Halilit wish to reassure their customer base that supply of the Battat, Lori and Terra brands will remain their responsibility. Should any retailers wish to seek further clarification please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Halilit office on 01254 872454.

w Ne uct! d Pro ust J ed! riv Ar

Dribble free fre bibs! w Ne ner ns sig De ble O ib ble Dr availa w! no

...Easy to order directly from our NEW trade website... All products are supported by a comprehensive press and pr campaign.


nursery today

Gro goes live

To mark the birth of Kate and Will’s third baby popular morning show This Morning featured ‘Best Baby Buys Fit for Royalty’. With an audience of over 1.5 million it was great to see award winning products from The Gro Company, Grobags, Grosnug and the Groegg2 as the choice of journalist Alice Beer who recognised them as a “Perfect present” for new parents. Web:

Birthday celebrations at Babybase On 9th April Babybase Wholesale reached their 30th birthday and everyone agreed this was something that must be celebrated! In 1988 when they opened the doors for the first time, Babybase was a retail store with the wholesale side of the business not starting until ten years later. Today they serve independent retailers, large and small, throughout the UK and further afield offering next day delivery from a huge range of nursery products which can be ordered online or by telephone or through Kath Williams their agent. One thing that has never changed over the years is their dedication to customer service. Kate Shrubb, her family and her wonderful staff celebrated the anniversary with a gala dinner at a local hostelry and a good time was had by all. Happy 30th Birthday Babybase and here’s to the next 30 years!


Silicone Self-Feeder


Double gold for Peg Perego Peg Perego has scooped double gold at the MadeForMums Awards in the Group 2/3 Car Seat category with its Viaggio Flex 2-3 Car Seat, and in the Highchair category with its Siesta Highchair. What’s more, its Book 51S system was also a finalist in the Travel System over £500 category. Web:

Kiddimoto Welcomes Kelly! Kiddimoto, the UK’s original balance bike company expands by welcoming Kelly Linthorne to the team as Brand Manager, ‘I am delighted to be joining the Kiddimoto team and putting my stamp on a highly regarded outdoor brand, we’ve already got a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline – watch this space!’ With a background in fashion and experience within the nursery market Kelly joins the company at an opportune time, ready to launch some exciting new products. For more information on how Kiddimoto started from humble beginnings and grew to the worldwide brand it is today visit

A berry good idea! Introduce your little ones to whole, fresh foods safely.

Run Rob, run

He did it! Rob Pascoe Group Commercial and Marketing Director at The Gro Company is now putting his feet up and having a well deserved rest after completing all 26.2 miles of the Virgin London Marathon. Running to raise funds for The Lullaby Trust he made a tremendous effort and successfully made it through the hottest London Marathon ever in 6 hrs 22mins. It’s not too late, why not donate to congratulate Rob here fundraising/rob-pascoe2 and help support this fantastic charity and their life saving work.

For life’s little adventures

nursery today


news Summer loving Duane D u Burcher-Lewis, Gr Gro’s Sales Office M Manager, takes a look at n releases in the new p pipeline.


ith a busy calendar of new releases planned this summer we’re looking forward to kicking off our activity a plans to get retailers and consumers excited about these new additions. ad add a dd d d For Gro it’s important that we are represented in all areas of the market and available wherever parents choose to buy. This means not just getting excellent product available but also shouting about it, making it desirable to parents and front of mind for them when making decisions about what they will need for their little ones. Introducing new product to market involves communicating directly to retailers via account managers, our customer sales teams, catalogue mailings and email communications, or indirectly via press, digital campaigns, events, social media channels and influencers. As a brand it is important for us to not just produce the best product we can for parents, that follows our goal to ‘Making Parenting Easier’ but to also properly support the product for retailers. With our own in house studio we’ve been able to do this by expanding the range of photography and video assets we are able to provide. Each new release is supported by dynamic trade and consumer campaigns of activity. Once products have been released it is important for Gro to continue communicating about them. Sustained PR and press support, particularly at key seasonal times, such as clock changes and warmer/colder weather, mean we are constantly communicating our place as market leader and key sleep product provider. Awards, incentives, press and influencer mentions all help build the profile of products for retailers and consumers. With 80%* of parents considering Gro products to be parenting essentials, we continue to extend our range of must haves for parents. The promotion and production of assets with timely communication is key to successfully establish these products. With the knowledge that retailers have to offer consumers, they will be able to reap the rewards of the introduction of new products and as a brand we will continue inue nu n ue u e to to m make high quality communications a priority when supporting new additions to our range. * Survey Group - 873 independently sourced sourced UK parents with children aged 0-3, hosted by Native Media Product Survey 2017


nursery today

What a buzz

Luna is the buzz word for Red Kite this year - the feedback and pre-orders have been exceptional since Luna’s launch at Harrogate. Redkite have been delighted to see the support that the independent sector have shown towards this new product range. For further details of this new premium selection that is coming soon contact the team on: 01454 326555.

New arrivals at Baby Brands Direct The gorgeous new collections from Tiny Love – Into the Forest, Meadow Days and Tiny Princess Tales are all now available The new collection, which is now available to order, offers a deluxe gym, a developmental mobile, take along mobile, attachable toy arch and co-ordinating linkable loop toys. The ranges look irresistibly, with picture perfect palettes and on trend nature characters. Each item also has the great features you would expect in harnessing the 7 stage development wonders that Tiny Love aspires to. The Taf Toys 2018 range in soft pastel hues and enchanting characters is also now available at Baby Brands Direct and offers retailers a choice of product within the categories of sleep, learning, travel and outdoors. The products are developed with the baby’s needs, product perception and stages of development as well as the parents need for practical application, value and solution to potential causes of baby’s anxiety. Web:

Perfecting P prints p P Lining’s Children’s Accessories Brand PL Pink Child is back with two imagination-capturing prints C – ‘Percy the Puffin’ and ‘Lollipop’ perfect for school, the beach and beyond! s They can sling the lunch box over their shoulder s and pop the mini rucksack on their backs to prevent being parted from their favourite toys and snacks. The interior/exterior of both is carefully thought out and water resistant Children will find the new ‘Lollipop’ design simply yummy with that refreshing and zingy colour palette. Just as well the Mini Rucksack comes with reins in case they make a speedy dash towards the ice-cream van! Web:

Sold like hot cakes Nimble were delighted to have launched their new Nimble Cleaning Products Range at the Baby and Toddler Show at Sandown Park. The team sold one Nimble product every three minutes, which is an amazing achievement for a business that exhibited at consumer show for the first time. The Nimble brand was a hit amongst the parents with its fun, light, and tongue-in-cheek take on the boring and thankless task of cleaning up things like milk stains, juice spills, and the dreaded poo washes. They loved how the brand understood that cleaning up is a task not just for mummy, but for daddy too and that it can be made more fun and less of a chore. Von Sy, Nimble’s founder and chief inventor said, “We are so happy to achieve this amazing sales record for our products and seeing the appeal of our Nimble’s ‘Good. Clean.Fun.’ brand proposition amongst parents and grandparents alike. Couldn’t have asked for a better outcome... my smile in that photo says it all.” For more information, contact Von at and check out Nimble’s new website:

news Show time Anthony Temple, Managing Director of Rainbow Designs, the Home of Classic Characters, takes a look at the Baby Show at the NEC and the importance, as a manufacturer, of attending. s a supplier, our key focus is to serve our nursery retailers and provide them with a diverse and premium-quality collection of products to select from. We exhibit at many of the UK trade shows throughout the year and they are fantastic platform for building and maintaining our trade relationships. However, for research and development purposes it is extremely important for us as a business to stay in touch with our marketplace and most importantly our end customer, and where better than the Baby Shows. For the nursery sector in particular the Baby Shows, consumer events for new and prospective parents, provide us with fundamental opportunities to directly meet, observe and engage with our target market. A presence at consumer events also offers us valuable insight as to how our products are perceived and give us the opportunity to gauge reaction to particular brands and product formats. Later this year we will be launching a new Miffy Baby Collection, a neutral range of baby toys and nursery essentials in shades of soothing mint green. The collection will be available in the autumn but we will be taking a small quantity of stock with us to the Baby Show. The event will allow us to create some visibility at consumer level for the new collection in advance of the products arriving on the shelves later this year and most importantly, allow us to observe parents’ reactions to these beautiful new lines. It is important to us, as The Home of Classic Characters, that we continuously deliver the best in baby to the nursery sector and consumer events, like the Baby Show, provide an ideal opportunity for us to observe the latest trends that are emerging across the sector and take all these learnings back into our business. I look forward to reporting back on our experience at the Baby Show next month.


Infantino UK Bolster its Team

Infantino, the global brand behind smartly designed products for happy parents, is thrilled to announce two new appointments. Introducing Jerome Lomer as Senior National Account Manager and Nivi Bhide as Marketing Director, both joining the UK team this Spring.

Rockit makes This Morning Debut

Rockit has made it’s TV debut when it was featured on a special ‘This Morning’ segment showing off the ‘Best Baby Gifts Fit for Royalty!’ Holly and Phil loved the handy must-have accessory which is designed to keep babies moving and snoozing, with Holly exclaiming ‘that is brilliant!’ when presenter Alice Beer demonstrated the Rockit in action. For more information on Rockit, contact Matt Dyson on 07588 717000

And the winners are… Breathablebaby and Little Chick London, as part of their commitment to support independent stores ran daily draws at the recent Harrogate show to win £100 worth of store display. Rachelle Harel from The RHSM Group said on drawing the winners “We want to thank everyone that spent the time to come and meet with us at the show. We feel its important to support independent stores in the same way we support national retailers and that includes making sure they have samples for display as well as providing promotional opportunities, allowing privately owned stores to compete with mass merchants on a more level playing field. The winners are as follows:

BreathableBaby - Pram Shop, Kirkcaldy, Helston Baby Centre, Groovy Style Little Chick London - Youngsters World, Babyluv Chesterfield, Babygear Camberley

Lights, Camera, Action for SnüzPouch!

Fresh from their Queen’s Award win, Green Sheep Group are in the news again with their first national TV campaign for the innovative nappy-changing sleeping bag, SnüzPouch. Airing throughout, the advert runs across the Sky network of channels. The hugely popular SnüzPouch has unique nappy change zip to help make changes during the night quick and easy, meaning less disturbance for baby. Mark Nicholls, Marketing Director, said: “We’re delighted to be launching our very first TV campaign! SnüzPouch has proved a hit with our retailers and even more so by parents. It’s another first for the Snüz brand and is one of a number of exciting developm ents for 2018” Tel: 01789 734 022 Email:


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“Say Hello” Happy Adventures Stroller Arch The newest addition to the award-winning toy collection 01692 408802

i-Size Baby Car Seat

Award-winning design with i-Size Base MORE VISIBILITY




tel: +44 151 5560869




swd_fin_alb_nursery_half_EN_180510_fjh.indd 1

10.05.18 22:34



Natural expansion This issue we question Harry Massie, Babyland Cheltenham to find out how this versatile independent retailer has grown and competed over the years, while still keeping their traditional values. Firstly, can you tell us a little about the history of Babyland Cheltenham - when did you first open your doors?

The managing director, Mr. Williams is a third generation owner of the company, which started trading as Williams Cycles in 1904, then added motorcycles in the early 20’s. After the Second World War the company expanded the bikes and motorbikes with car dealerships and a toy shop. In the early 1960’s we opened a pram and nursery department within our cycle showrooms to supplement the quieter winter months. This part grew very quickly and we soon separated it into a stand-alone shop and named it Babyland. Our Manager Lynda has been here for 34 years and has accumulated a great knowledge of the trade and the other team members take our accumulative expertise to 60+ years.

What has been your biggest challenge since opening?

One of our biggest challenges is the competition out there with the bigger companies and the growth of online trading.

We are a more traditional business and still believe that the best way is to try and gett the customer to visit our showrooms and let our knowledgeable staff explain and demonstrate the complexities and variations with the modern pram systems. Being in-store only, without an e-commerce site in an online world is alwayss going to be harder, however we have many returning customers and new ones, who visit us through word of mouth recommendations and we pride ourselves that we can give them the best experience possible.

How do you manage your shop floor space?

We try our best to display and show all the brands we stock within the floor space we have, though we can have problems when a new product comes out requiring a big space to accommodate the, sometimes oversize, P.O.S. display. We have managed to enhance some of our displays with specialist units from the likes of Egg and Silver Cross which gives a more modern look and highlights the products. We are lucky to have a lot of wall space for displaying accessories and small items.

Are brands important to your business?

Brands are very important to us, when a customer doesn’t recognise a brand we stock, because of it being fairly new or not widely advertised, then it is down to us to show them the features and benefits of that range and get them add it to their possible list. Sometimes, though it may suit their needs better, the brand name matters more even though it may be less practical.

Do you feel that you receive adequate support from the brands that you stock? 12

nursery today

“ The big gest

leve l of inn ova tion has rea lly come fro m the Ca r Sea t industry. There have been so many new rules and reg ula tions put in pla ce over the past 20 yea rs, customers come in utterly con fuse d and underesti ma te wh at they nee d. ”

T There are a few brands that we feel do not look after us independents and only n want to deal with the big players and life w rrevolves around quantity. However, being a well-established business, we b have been able to build up very good h rrelationships with most of our long term ssuppliers and they realise the importance oof customers being able to see and feel ttheir products, as opposed to viewing pictures online. p

How do you keep abreast of H ccurrent trends with the rranges that you offer in sstore?

We read about the latest trends via W re reviews and magazines such as Nursery T Today. If we have many customers eenquiring about an item not in our range w we will usually trial it, the best thing we h have had in recent months has been fur ho hood trims, everyone seems to love them!

Do you think we have D suffi su cient new product launches lau throughout the year?

The product launches are all at different times throughout the year! However we feel the launches should take place at trade shows so it gives you more of an incentive to go and see what’s new. It would be helpful if products had a longer shelf life of 18 or 24 months before another version is launched to replace the current model which has only actually been available on the shop floor for a short time.

Is there a particular product category that you feel has experienced the largest level of innovation and development over the years?

The biggest level of innovation has really come from the Car Seat industry. There have been so many new rules and regulations put in place over the past 20 years, customers come in utterly confused and underestimate what they need. We just

wish that it was policed more, as a lot of people are still driving around ignorant of the laws concerning car seats.

Do you feel that we have a more brand aware consumer?

We think customers have more brand awareness, however a lot of customers will believe a certain brand is great because the reviews are good or their friends have it, when it doesn’t suit their individual lifestyle. Alternatively, we find some people will be put off a brand for being too fashionable and glitzy!

Do you feel that your customers are better informed when they arrive in store about what they require?

We find that occasionally we get a customer that’s very tuned in to what they need and are looking for. Although most of the time it is the complete opposite, which we prefer, as it gives us the opportunity to educate them in the broad choice of products available, and hopefully they leave knowing what they need.

How do you drive awareness to your store?

It is now a lot more difficult as we used to select between the local papers, radio and buses, but now with papers disappearing and more digital marketing it is more complex. We support our local twins club and we rely on giving good customer service which leads to knew contacts through word of mouth, which in our opinion, is one of the strongest forms of advertisement.

You also have a website and Facebook page - how important are these to your business?

We have a website that lets people know we are here, general information and what we stock. Our Facebook page has played a bigger part in the business the past year, with social media expanding it’s great to have a business page people can easily and quickly contact us on, and vice versa.

You don’t sell online - what was the rationale behind this decision? We have thought about selling online in the past, but did not have the infrastructure or in house expertise to run it. We like to encourage the personal approach to customers and encourage them to visit us, though with new e-commerce platforms making it easier to set up and run, we will need to review joining in very shortly.

Finally, can we expect any expansion plans on the horizon or exciting news announcements?

We are stepping up to the 21st century with an overhaul of all our old shop floor displays - we’ve had most of them replaced with lovely new stands and modern lighting installed to make it all shine. We do have a John Lewis coming to Cheltenham 50 meters down the road, so we want to ensure people will also call in on us to complete their knowledge of everything they may need for their newborn. Meanwhile we will continue keeping our heads up and our standards high!

nursery today


Cover Story Petunia Pickle Bottom

Bags and accessories for modern motherhood Born on the beautiful west coast of California over two decades ago, the much loved Petunia Pickle Bottom brand has become eponymous with style and function for a generation of Stateside parents. Here we take a closer look at this fashionable brand.

What mums say… Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some real mums had to say about the Boxy Backpack: “I went through three different diaper bags before I found this one and I’m extremely picky. This rates more than 5 stars for sure!” – Morgan L. “I love my bag! It’s beautiful for one and it’s big enough to carry all of my stuff for two kiddos, very organiSed and perfect because I’ve got three little ones so I need the hands!” – Jessica B. “Functional, trendy, great quality. Amazing!” – Lisa K.


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ow available in the UK, this gorgeous line of feature-rich changing bags leaves nothing to be desired with their playful patterns and thoughtful designs. A modern mother’s quintessential companion, the iconic Boxy Backpack features a versatile design, light weight construction, and comes with its own Stroller Straps. This top-selling diaper bag ensures that every detail is at the ready with a clever built-in changing station, organisational pockets, and multiple carrying options. It is available in a variety of trend-setting prints, colours, and fabrics.


back pocket to store backpack straps when not in use plus a top grab-handle for easy toting. Also included are an extra long cross-body/on shoulder adjustable strap plus a set of sturdy stroller hooks. The fabric is an easy-to-clean, wipe-able glazed cotton canvas, featuring antique copper-coloured metal hardware & protective feet. Zippers and straps feature a genuine leather trim and the interior linings are water-resistant. At less than 3lbs/1.3kg, The Boxy Backpack has a contemporary unisex shape, bringing confidence and style to modern parenthood.

Boxy Backpack

Meet inter-mix

The Boxy Backpacks’ spacious interior has 5 pockets (2 to stow bottles) and a key clip. A wide zip-open top allows for quicker access to contents with 2 additional exterior pockets for extra storage options. The clever Zip-out diaper changing station has a removable, machine washable changing pad and pockets for diapers and wipes. The front flap features a dual position magnetic front flap closure, with snap closure for added security when carrying on the back. Each Boxy Backpack has an exterior

The Intermix range is a system of bags and packing pods to mix, match, and make your own. Created for every type of parent, outing, or situation, Inter-Mix helps organise the stroller, nursery, and diaper bag, and even offers the flexibility for pieces to be passed along to other caregivers. Each Intermix Backpack features • Spacious interior with five pockets, plus room for the Inter-Mix Grid Caddy and Pixels (sold separately) • Two exterior side bottle pockets and two front open pockets

• Zippered, padded compartment at back holds diaper changing items or can carry a laptop • Wide-zip-around opening for quick access to contents • Removable, water-resistant, and washable baby changing pad • PPB-monogrammed wipes case • Easy-to-clean with a water-resistant interior • Top grab handle • D-rings on sides attach bag to stroller with Valet Stroller Clips (sold separately) • Wide, adjustable, and padded backpack straps for hands-free carrying, and top arm-carry handles to grab and go The fabric is an easy-to-clean, wipe-able glazed cotton canvas, featuring antique copper-coloured metal hardware, and genuine leather trim with water-resistant interior. At just under 1kg, this super versatile bag is a great option for those who want to travel light.

Inter-Mix System Start Kit

A system of bags and packing pods to mix, match, and make your own. Created for every type of parent, outing, or situation, Inter-Mix helps organise the stroller, nursery, and diaper bag, and even offers the flexibility for pieces to be passed along to other caregivers. Whether used to organise the stroller, the diaper bag, or even the nursery, the Inter-Mix Starter Kit comprises a set of lightweight packing pods in a perfectly organised outer carrying accessory. Intuitive to use alone, and ideal when used with other elements of the Inter-Mix System, it’s designed to bring along the details with

Boxy Backpack

“PWickle ecreate d

Petun ia B otto m to ce le b ra te th e joy an adventu re o f modern d mot h er h oo d . W h o sh is , w h o sh e w as , e w h o sh e w ill b e an d Denai Jones, De

sign Director, Petunia Pickle Bo ttom.

Inter-Mix Backpack

versatility and ease, keeping essentials close at hand any time they’re needed. The Inter-Mix Starter Kit includes 1 Mini Pixel, 1 Midi Pixel, and the Grid Caddy.

Downtown Tote

The Downtown Tote ticks all the boxes for lovers of design. The classic silhouette offers minimalist style with maximum functionality – whether you have a baby or not! This bag is not just a favourite for days out with the kids, it’s perfect for a night out on the town, a day at the park or even a work or study bag for your laptop and notebooks. It has all the functionality of traditional changing bags with none of the bulk. This beauty features six spacious pockets, a removable and washable changing pad, a wipes case and a secure zip-top closure. Of course, it also features easy-to-clean glazed coated canvas exterior with genuine leather straps and detailing. Premium antique copper-coloured metal hardware and water-resistant interior. It’s the perfect choice for parents who want a changing bag that doesn’t look like a changing bag! Petunia Pickle Bottom are dedicated to creating top-quality products that help women achieve a balance of self and motherhood. Their changing bags and accessories are ahead-of-the-trend statement pieces that speak volumes in fashion and function, instilling confidence wherever they go. This season’s botanical and floral trend can be seen in the fabulous “Meandering in Middleton” and “Wildflowers of Westbury” prints. Both eye-catching prints are the perfect addition to any summer wardrobe. Petunia Pickle Bottom, where daring meets darling. Where sensible function meets simple elegance.

Milano Backpack

Downtown Tote

Starter Pack

nursery today


talking shop With with birth of the new Royal arrival - Louis Arthur Charles, we asked independent retailers whether this will have an impact on business.


Karen Grunstein

With the new arrival in the Royal family, do you think we may see an increase in demand for products that are made in the UK? I think a royal event always instills a sense of British pride and the young Royals are certainly champions of British brands and trend setters in the fashion stakes! However, I do think consumers are quite discerning and won’t simply buy a brand just because it is British. It has to meet their need and increasingly be a reflection of their lifestyle choice and/or make a statement about who they are. Do you think new parents will be researching products that they may purchase or be gifted? Kate is such a British style icon in the media that yes, I’m sure new parents will be monitoring Kate’s gifts and purchases with interest, and not just for the baby! Remember George’s dressing gown when the Obama’s were in town? How will you be monitoring trends that may appear? We’ll be keeping a close eye on the press and social media and also our competitors to see if any trends emerge that we think have a fit with our collections. Will you be running any promotional activity in store or online? The promotion for the Royal Baby has now ended and was promoted to our

Tracey Medway


With the new arrival in the Royal family, do you think we may see an increase in demand for products Made in the UK? We find there is usually a spike after a royal birth. We have already seen a big increase in enquires on products such as the Silver Cross Balmoral. Do you think new parents will be researching products that they may purchase or be gifted? Definitely parents are researching products much more. Product information is readily available for the customer now which allows them to be more specific in there purchase. How will you be monitoring trends that may appear? I think social media is a great platform for monitoring trends as are celebrity TV shows etc. I think customers nowadays aspire to the celebrity culture more than they did previously. Will you be running any promotional activity in store or online? We run continual in store promotions throughout the year, and aim to promote each brand periodically.


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database and across our social networks and timed to run for 48 hours after the baby was born in line with the royal baby fever. We have also run a competition on our social networks in the lead up to the royal baby to Win a £50 Burble Baby voucher. When Charlotte was born we found that there was a big interest in the lead up to her arrival so we have tried to replicate promotional activity this time around for the same effect. We reused imagery from last time (the baby on the banner on the home page with the crown is my daughter from a shoot when she was a baby!). The activity has certainly generated a peak in sales on the site the last few days. This time around we did not stock any specific crown / prince / princess related merchandise purely for the occasion, just because we did not find anything that we particularly thought fitted with our current range. However we will be monitoring future royal baby trends with interest.

Ian Donaldson


With the new arrival in the Royal family, do you think we may see an increase in demand for products Made in the UK? If it follows the same pattern as last time clothing wise. People were looking at the ranges they wore, Sarah Louise clothing and especially the boys romper style suits and the more traditional dresses for girls increased in demand. In some cases it was more the style of clothing rather than the make so if European company’s had that style customers would still purchase. How will you be monitoring trends that may appear? I use mostly my customer interactions in shop as a guide to what is current. Though I also now look at what is being liked and shared on social media more to get a wider picture. I currently don’t sell on line but use our website and social media more to promote ranges and new products in our shop.


Andrew White

With the new arrival in the Royal family, do you think we may see an increase in demand for products Made in the UK? Unfortunately and sadly NO! I think the days of national pride have long gone, Cosatto have the perfect design out at the moment in Brit pop so let’s wait and see what happens with those products. Do you think new parents will be researching products that they may purchase or be gifted? In short yes! I think its fair to say that some customers who come through the door these days know more about a product than us, with the down side of this being that they have focused on one product and in many cases the wrong product for them! That’s why shops are still needed, the wealth of knowledge that nursery store staff have will never be replaced by the computer. How will you be monitoring trends that may appear? Personally I feel this is the hardest part of the job, what sells in the south may be a dead duck up here so when I hear reps or other stores (on NSG for example) saying a product is doing well and it isn’t here it can get me worried or confused as to what we are doing wrong, but I do think in most cases we get it right. Will you be running any promotional activity in store or online? We use Facebook a lot to push new product and often press the boost button to spread the word a bit further, we also run competitions on there which always gives us new friends. I think Facebook gives you good value for money and of course targets the people you want to hit, we always have some kind of offer on in store.

It’s good to talk! Fancy having your say about the nursery industry? Just drop editor Penny Franks an email at You and your business could appear in the next issue of Nursery Today.

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supplier snapshot With with birth of the new Royal arrival Louis Arthur Charles, we spoke with some of the industry’s finest to find out whether this will have an impact on business.

Elliot Bishop

MANAGING DIRECTOR, BEBELEPHANT With the arrival of the Royal baby, do you feel this will have an impact on business? Lovely news like this usually creates a feel good factor which makes consumers go and spend money. All eyes will be on clothing and gear that the new Prince will be seen in – which will see spikes for retailers from parents after the same products, so undoubtedly good for business! What in the ranges you distribute do you feel would be a product fit for a prince? William and Kate have already expressed interest in Whisbear (see photo) and how about a London themed change bag by Zellie for Kate? Do you feel that we will see an increase in demand for products that the

Alex Molyneux

MARKETING COORDINATOR - HIPPYCHICK With the arrival of the Royal baby, do you feel this will have an impact on business? Most definitely! All royal babies in the past of had a huge impact, especially when the prince or princess has been spotted wearing or playing with something in particular. What in your range do you feel would be a product fit for a prince? I think the prince would just love our Moover range, particularly the ride on dump truck (for when he’s a little older). The toys are unique in how they blend traditional wooden craftsmanship with modern looks, perfect for a prince! Do you feel that we will see an increase in demand for products that the Royals may choose? Absolutely, just as when Kate is seen wearing a certain outfit, it sells out instantly!


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Royals may choose? I think brands’ Instagram accounts will be buzzing once we see some more pictures of the new baby! Will you be promoting any product/ range linked to the new arrival? Our brands and their PR companies are hard at work! Watch this space!

Julie Wilson & Amy Livingstone CO-FOUNDERS - CHEEKY CHOMPERS

With the arrival of the Royal baby, do you feel this will have an impact on business? Yes, definitely there has been extraordinary interest in the new arrival and it presents a real opportunity for Cheeky Chompers especially as we have just won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade so we are heading to Buckingham palace soon to meet the Queen! What in your range do you feel would be a product fit for a prince? All our nine cheeky products would certainly be fit for a prince. They are handmade here in the UK and will add real style to a Royal baby’s wardrobe! Our premium products are designed by mums to make parents’ lives easier. They are attachable, stylish, practical and stringently tested to worldwide safety

standards. Obviously our iconic Neckerchew would be a great start for the new prince but also our innovative 100% organic teething muslin the MultiMuslin has six clever uses so is a great space saving multi-use product from birth! Do you feel that we will see an increase in demand for products that the Royals may choose? Yes William and Catherine’s influence is powerful - I’m sure that whatever they choose for the prince will have extraordinary demand and will be boosted. We definitely think that the new prince would be a Royal Cheeky Chomper! Will you be promoting any product/range linked to the new arrival? In celebration of the birth of the new Royal baby, we have launched a brand new design, ‘London Town’! This delightful design takes a tour around London with its red, white and blue bib, with British icons and a stylish red and white striped reverse. This design will be used across our iconic Neckerchew chewy dribble bib, our luxurious teething comforter the Comfortchew and the attachable Cheeky Blanket.

Lynda Harding

MANAGING DIRECTOR - SWEET DREAMERS S With the arrival of the Royal baby, do you feel this will have an impact on business? Unless you’re lucky enough to have your product snapped with the new baby Prince, then I don’t think the arrival of the Royal baby will have a huge impact on business. We do always try to find a way of getting ewan to a new Royal baby though!

Do you feel that we will see an increase in demand for products that the Royals may choose? Yes definitely. The eagerly anticipated arrival of a Royal baby always causes a buzz in the nursery industry, after all, the whole world will be keeping a watchful eye on the brands that the Royals choose. If you’re fortunate enough to be chosen, then you’re guaranteed to have a flood of orders, and will more than likely go out of stock

within a very short period of time! Be Prepared! What in your range do you feel would be a product fit for a prince? nce? Of course our new ewan Deluxe is a perfect fit for the new little Prince! Having all of multi award winning original ewan’s proven benefits, together with his new removable pod and intelligent smartCRY sensor, I feel would make bedtimes a dream for the Royals. Will you be promoting any product/range linked to the new arrival? Yes, certainly. We have a limited edition Royal ewan that’s available solely to consumers. These have a regal purple fabric tab on them featuring a silver crown and the year 2018, to commemorate the arrival of the Royal Prince.

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Changing World Changing bags are considered fashion statements in today’s world. A changing bag is viewed as an essential and also a fashion accessory. Modern parents are searching for design led products which also offer practical functions and benefits. hanging bags are very much a fashion led changing pad for convenience. New colours include staple for many retailers and is a product the timeless Black with rose gold hardware and the category that is always on trend. These are ever so trendy Olive.” a must have for any discerning mum while Being customer facing, we asked Karen for her out and about. thoughts on trends she experiences with regard to Gemma Stokes, Marketing Manager, Skip Hop fabrics, colourways and patterns. “Customers are UK told Nursery Today: “Changing bags, which still loving new pastel and light neutral shades for the must be practical and functional, now also need to be summer. stylish, chic and completely on-trend. Style and “Lightweight materials are increasingly popular. versatility are the buzz words, as many parents are Back packs are a growing segment (with regard to now looking to purchase a changing bag that can also being unisex and offering a level of convenience when be used as a handbag and offer that extra longevity out and about). However luxury leather tote style for use.” bags remain a classic favourite investment piece, With fashion at the forefront of most parents especially for mums to be at the very start of their mind, would this be considered a brand led category? parenting journey.” We asked independent retailer Karen Grunstein of We asked Karen also for her opinion on what she Burble Baby for her thoughts. “Brands play an feels are the key qualities and features that her important role in setting trends and leading customers are currently looking for? “Customers want innovation in the category and consumers are their bags to meet their needs all at once without increasingly likely to invest in branded, good quality having to buy different bags or accessories for multifunctional bags that will have extended use different purposes. The more features and added beyond the initial baby years. extras a bag can include the better!” “However unbranded lower cost bags have their If we are talking features, is the consumer prepared place in the current economic climate too and to pay more for bags that offer additional pockets, shouldn’t be ignored. Not everyone wants to/or has changing mats, etc? Gemma thinks so. “Function is a the disposable income to invest in a premium very important factor when it comes to changing bags. branded changing bag.” Mums need to know that their changing bag has all the What about the type of fabric used? Is this closely typical and necessary functions (stroller straps, bottle looked at by the consumer? “Leather is always the pockets, changing pad, which come as standard in all most popular for durability however the cost is what Skip Hop changing bags.” commented Gemma. sometimes puts people off.” Said Katie Kaminski, “Millennial mums are typically on-the-go multi-taskers, Managing Director, Motherknot. “There has been a so therefore look for products that will help simplify growing demand for faux leather and we are now their busy on-the go, multi-tasking lifestyles. Because of producing faux leather bags to cater for the Vegan this, they are willing to pay more for quality, ethical and market as they still want the style but for ethical safe assured products.” reasons can’t buy leather.” Of course, it’s not just mum now who will change Gemma agrees. “Vegan-friendly fabrics are a hot baby. Dads are now very much hands on. Are we ed to be practical, cat topic right now. Bags need catering to their needs in this cat contain lots of category and offering sufficient inn pockets, for innovation? “Brands are beg organisation and easy beginning to adapt to dads with cha access to smaller changing bag styles, and more are bec items, and ideally be becoming unisex in appearance. Ho wipe-clean. However I’m sure there is a whole “For example, our new segment of the category ripe Greenwich Simply for development bespoke to dads nee Chic Backpack needs!” Said Karen. collection is made of Whether your customer is loo durable, wipe-clean looking for that bag that oozes fun vegan leather and functional aspects, or one that ha to be deemed as that all offers luxury and style has im for the effortlessly chic important ‘oversized’ handbag ac mum. With earthy accessory – suppliers and m colours and clean lines, manufacturers really do have it al covered. We highlight it features nine pockets all c for the ultimate changing bags and accessories anaging o the following pages that are organisation. Like all on Katie Kaminski, M t our changing bags, it on trend and available to Director, Motherkno comes with a cushioned order.


There ha s been a “ grow in g de m an d fo r

fa ux le at her an d wfaeuxare no w p ro ducing r fo r le at her ba gs to ca tet as th e V eg an m arke e th ey st ill w ant th l style but fo r et hi ca re as on s can’ t buy le at her.


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Image courtesy of Clever Clogs

The survey says… Nursery marketing specialist FanFinders survey 1200 consumers focussing on Changing Bags & Accessories. Here’s the results. Did you buy a changing bag?

Yes: 517 (43.1%) No: 683 (56.9%) If answered yes to question 1 (517 users) Did you research this prior to purchase?

Yes: 342 (66.2%) No: 175 (33.8%)

Was the style important to you?

Yes: 431 (83.4%) No: 86 (16.4%) Did you buy a bag that could be considered unisex?

Yes: 451 (87.2%) No: 66 (12.8%) Were brand names important to you?

Yes: 153 (29.6%) No: 364 (70.4%)

Did you look for a bag that you could use for general use as your child grew?

Yes: 354 (68.5%) No: 163 (31.5%) Was it important that this included a changing mat?

Yes: 363 (70.2%) No: 154 (29.8%) Did you look for a bag that had various pockets and compartments?

Yes: 498 (96.3%) No: 19 (3.7%)

Smart Bags for Smart People

10 Reasons to love your Ju-Ju-Be! 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Machine washable + air dry Lifetime warranty! Teflon™ fabric protector Agion® antimicrobial treatment Memory foam changing pad The ‘Mummy Pocket’ ‘Crumb Drains’ make cleaning easier Bottle pockets insulated by 3M Thinsulate™ Self-healing zipper technology High quality and durable metal hardware throughout


Head in a new direction Pink Lining has a ‘Heritage Collection’, plus seasonal prints to evolve the label in an exciting new direction, without losing any of the meticulously well thought-out functionality Their best-selling ‘Yummy Mummy’ now features a new heart motif whilst there’s a buzz about brand new bag ‘The Bees Knees’ with metallic striped bee. The ‘Notting Hill Tote’ is more streamlined and the hands-free ‘Wonder Bag’ lighter. Prints: graphic & bold ‘Apples & Pears’, witty ‘Dalmatian’ and pretty/delicate ‘Hummingbird’ Accessories include: Wash Bag, Bottle Holder, Stroller Organiser and Wallet. All perfect presents! Pink Lining makes the mundane paraphernalia of parenting covetable.

le cal sthety Pracedti ot is both practical and ‘Eva’ bag from Mo rkn The much lov y clean option ble lining, it allows an eas stylish. Featuring remova es with pram com also It . bags in one and the ability to have two p. Not to detachable shoulder stra straps, changing mat and s. mention numerous pocket of bags that ned for creating a range ow ren Motherknot are but durable and versatile. are not only fashionable, Email: sales@motherkn m .co not erk oth w.m Web: ww

Email: Web:

ns le esig d e v i t c n i t s i gs ba , offers sty D nge of changing comprehensive ra ction consists

Every cloud…

Silvercloud offer three changing bags made in grey cotton canvas with brown leatherette trim, to suit any parent. The Satchel Changing Bag has a long adjustable strap for shoulder or across-body carrying, and a magnetic pop closure. It has four large internal pockets, and includes a travel changing mat and bottle holder. The versatile range also includes the Handy Stroller Bag: an easy-grab pouch for feeding or changing essentials, with straps for attaching to a pushchair; and the Tote Changing Bag: a roomy tote shape with leatherette straps, which includes a travel changing mat and bottle holder. Tel: 01692 408802 Web:


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lle Summer Infant’s able prices. The co nality but at afford different tio it nc su fu t to s ea ay gr d an ns and colourw sig de e tiv nc sti di of a range of mums to have a consumers’ tastes. important it is for w ho ds an rst de un of bag has been Summer Infant ’s why each style at th – e lov d a separate ey th lots of pockets an changing bag th wi e m co all ey ned, th d to hand. All thoughtfully desig ys or purses safe an ke g in ep ke r fo et pock strap as well as external ‘secure’ ndles and a carry ha rry ca th m the bo re g can be hung fro of the bags featu y straps so the ba gg bu folds l at rsa th ive d un pa l y changing really usefu o contains a hand als g ba ch Ea . air pushch k all the boxes for neatly away. ailable seem to tic av gs ba e with a g gin an “Most ch ality but often com design and practic are also of t s bu m y ter lit in na s tio er consum style and func ne bi m ,” co gs ba £3 ur £24.99 to 4.99 hefty price tag. O from an RRP of ng rti sta . K ey, U on t m fan r great value fo ager at Summer In az, General Man says Hashim Yilm ant.c

merinf Web: www.sum

the main EVENT Hunting through your jam-packed bag just got easier! Skip Hop’s MAINFRAME Wide Open Collection features a structured frame top that opens wide—and stays put—for easy access. To talk about becoming a stockist, contact our UK office at or 01582 434250.

MAINFRAME Wide Open Collection



Changing ttim ime es s The latest range of chang

Fashionable solution A fashionable and contemporary solution for carrying all of baby’s necessities, which also includes a padded changing mat and a bottle pocket. Red Kite Baby have produced a luxury feel changing bag for an entry level price, the Sodbury Bag has lots of pockets, both inside and out, to offer plenty of storage. There is a detachable shoulder strap which enables you a choice of carry styles, along with a wide main compartment which is secured using a zip. The Sodbury has received some recent success within the nursery industry, winning bronze within the Made for Mums awards. Tel: 01454 326555 Email: Web:

Travel with style Did you know that all Ven icc

i Travel Systems come wit h all the necessary accessories? Par ents do not have to worry about trying to find a changing bag that will match the rest of the ir Travel System or a rain cover that will fit bot h the carrycot and the sea t unit. All of these and many mo re are included in the pac kage. If you decide to go for their 3in 1 Travel System which inc ludes car seat, you can be assured that approp riate car seat adapters wil l be included to allow you attach the car seat onto the chassis when needed. Seat unit footmuff/apron, mosquito net and cup holder are ano ther extras that you will find in a 3in1 as well as 2in1 package.



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ing bags offers the upmost luxury when out and about. The Style, Jetset and Urban bags all feature luxurious fabrics and include an insulated bottle holder, detac hable internal valuables bag and comfortable changing mat. Whils t they all offer ample storage options and look outstanding as both a changing bag and a general-purpose bag, each has its own forte. For those who like to always be organised and requir e instant access, the Style changing bag features a Gladstone design which makes it easy to see exactly what is inside. The strap on the Jetset bag can be removed and re-attached to instantly transform it into a practi cal rucksack. The Urban changing bag offers traditional changing bag features but being available in a range of modern, durable fabrics make s it truly stand out from the crowd. Tel: 01652 641491 Web:

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Discover the full collection at For all Sales enquiries, please contact Natasha on 07790898478 or email


New Addition to the OiOi collection! The Two pocket Organiser includes two roomy front pockets, Back zip pocket for personals, spacious interior with removal partitions to provide more capacity for baby things as well yours! Fixed velcro stroller straps for easy attachment to strollers and a long detachable web strap which converts to shoulder bag for when you want to grab and go! Web:

Easy access

Skip Hop has introduced two new ‘easy to access’ changing bags, perfect for today’s busy parents. The Mainframe Wide Open Changing Backpack makes it easy to access everything that’s packed inside, thanks to a structured frame, which opens wide and stays open for a clear view. An innovative combination of soft fabric and sleek structure, the sporty, lightweight design features a large main compartment with a secure zip closure, plus lots of pockets. Easy-grab, double top handles and adjustable backpack straps make this user-friendly for the ultimate in hands-free ease. New colours include the timeless Black and stylish Cement. Also in the range is the sleek, lightweight, stylish and versatile Mainframe Wide Open Changing Satchel. Just like the backpack it has similar easy-to access features, and includes over-the-shoulder carrying handles, plus the option of a removable crossbody strap. New colours include Black and Slate. Email:

Clean on the go

Looking for something new to help parents cle an up after their messy kids when they are out and about? Why no t check out the Nimble Travel Cleaning Collection. It contains Nimble’s chi ld-friendly cleaning pro ducts – Milk Buster (multi-award win ning baby bottle clean er), Sticky Stopper (bleach-free toy and sur face cleaner), and Laun dry Lover (non-bio clothes detergent) – all in small bottles under 100 ml. They’re only just a little bigger than a lipstick, so they can easily be popped in a changing bag for short trips to a café, or longer trips to see parents or in-law s, or even to holidays ab Email: road. babie Web: www.nimbleba


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iZi Flex FIX i-Size World’s first R129-02 Highback Booster on the market

» Removable SIP bumpers » SIP+ » 3-in-a-row » PAD+ » Recline position » Integrated carrying handle

To join in – Contact your BeSafe representative or email



Learn from others Part 2 T collapse of Toys “R” Us shows how retail across all sectors – The p particularly the toy sector – is facing some seriously challenging cconditions. But the challenges these companies are facing are not just llimited to one specific area. here is no doubt, that as the toy market becomes smaller, toy retail is one sector under particularly immense

T Nick Richardson CEO - The Insights People Nick Richardson’s is a highly experienced strategic marketer and is founder of The Insights People the most comprehensive and dynamic market intelligence resource on all things kids and parents, with a mission to change the way in which global market research is conducted. Having worked in strategic marketing and insights all of his career, Nick established Kids Insights in 2017. Kids Insights survey 400 kids, tweens and teens every week (more than 20,000 a year), with subscribers able to access the data in real-time via an online portal. In addition Kids Insights also produce four insight led reports every quarter which focus on what kids, tweens and teens are consuming and how they are behaving. 2018 is set to be an exciting year with Nick overseeing the launch of Parents Insights in the UK as well as expanding Kids Insights internationally. Nick’s particular passion is for insight led research with a focus on implications and opportunities.

pressure. p Our latest report found that 75% (4-6 ( year olds) own their own tablets. F Furthermore 62% of boys aged 4-15 spend s money on video games and 36% s spend money on apps. The result of this is that there is more money being deflected away from the high street. It is, therefore, critically important for organisations to have detailed insight into the markets which they operate in, especially as the landscape continues to shift at an increasingly rapid rate. An organisation’s ability to identify and respond to opportunities and challenges early is increasingly the difference between success and failure. In part two of this series looking at the insight gathered by Kids Insight, we centre some observations on the toy market….

Being agile and responsive to changing markets Whilst the toy market is still buoyant, with lots of opportunities if you’re prepared to seize them, the market has reduced significantly over the last decade. Other sectors such as tech and fashion have transformed expectations

About Us The Insights People is the market intelligence company of the future, today. At Kids Insights, we survey 400 different kids each week (20,000 kids every year). At Parents Insights, we survey more than 250 different expecting and new parents each week. By collecting the data continually, we see trends as they are emerging. We produce insight-led reports each quarter and we make all our data available in real-time. We work with some of the biggest brands in the industry including Cartoon Network, DC Thomson, Finsbury Foods, Penguin Random House, Sambro and Vivid Imaginations. For a complimentary report and a free trial of our portal please visit or


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An organ isation’s ability to ident ify and respond to opportunit ies and challenges early is increa singly the difference betw een success and failure.

of kids, as products go from the drawing board to front door in weeks rather than months and years. Brands such as Boohoo, Missguided and Pretty Little Things are now amongst the top five online fashion brands with teenage kids. Embracing technology to become more agile and responsiveness is key to being successful. Do nothing and you could be in the line of fire.

Developing a marketing strategy for the future, not based on the past In years gone by there was a simple recipe to the secret sauce for marketing to young people and to parents. You could pretty much gauge that a certain number of TVR’s (i.e. views) and listings in key retailers such as Argos, Toys R Us and Woolworths would deliver a certain number of unit sales. Marketing to this generation of kids and parents is far more complex, because both their eco-systems are increasingly complex and fragmented. We are seeing more and more evidence that their microsystems are becoming more unique – which means targeting potential consumers is far more complex than ever before. Get you marketing mix right – targeted TV advertising/viewing, product placements, search engine optimisation and social sales should all be top of mind considerations for today’s toy retailer. And, with the rise of influencer marketing, proactive consumer reviews, and YouTube, you’ve got to be smart about building an advocacy network. After all, today’s consumer is tomorrow’s influencer.

Experiences are crucial to this generation Back in the day, Toys R Us offered the most magical experience for kids. It was

llike no other. U Unfortunately, as oother brands iinvested in iimproving their ccustomer eexperience (be it oonline or offline), Toys R Us simply T sstood still. For those of u us who have vvisited Toys R Us oover recent years, it was not a customer experience that was exciting and enchanting, but one which felt like something from the last century. There is no doubt that the power of online sales, led by Amazon, has had a significant impact, however, some toy retailers such as Smyths and The Entertainer are still increasingly popular. In fact, our latest figures tell us that Smyths is now the 5th favourite high street shop of all 4-12 year olds. And that’s interesting to see this when Toys R Us has had such a dramatic reversal of fortunes. As kids and the kids’ ecosystem becomes far more fragmented, we are seeing the growth and emergence of specialist retailers – such as Lego stores or Build A Bear Warehouses – who are focusing on specific niches in the toy retailing market.

Conclusion To conclude our two-part series, for all retailers it has never been more important to understand the market and the customers they serve. But listening alone isn’t enough. A business that is agile and can respond proactively and quickly to the latest trends and opportunities will be the business that wins through. See HMV and Toys R Us for examples of the ones that didn’t. And they have paid a price. Ultimately, the retailer that evolves the in-store offering, that embraces technology and keeps the consumer at the very front and centre of its thinking, is the retailer who will seize the opportunity to capture the hearts and minds of consumers.


BeSafe complete the family e iZi Go Modular infant carrier

New this month is the BeSaf family look range with new ‘white-edge’ styling completing the to 12 years. birth from seats car iSize tion across the next-genera y and qualit , safety top the asises emph styling e uniqu This nly certai will and range indeed styling of the BeSafe Modular stand-out on your shelves. er Paul Sirett, Country Manager told us: “This is anoth sing increa ut witho example of BeSafe adding value to our seats g leadin mers consu and rs the prices, offering our retaile premium products packed full of features.” so call New ‘white-edge’ Infant Carriers are shipping now, order. your BeSafe contact to place your BeSafe… Good for Children, Good for you… Tel: 01606 814 638 Email: Web:

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What a space saver!

Winner of the prestigious Best Nursery Product at this year’s BANTAs, the Stamford range continues to win awards and go from strength to strength. Expanding on an already extensive range, there are now two new additions to Stamford cots and cot beds. Available in May, the space saver cot accommodates a 100x50cm mattress which can be adjusted to three heights and features the same elegant scroll design as the rest of the range. With pre-orders already being placed for its August launch, the Stamford Luxe cot bed becomes the deluxe flagship sleeping option for the range. Its oversized, hand carved scrolls flow perfectly into the curved side panel and its ability to transfer between cot, day bed and a toddler bed both with and without safety rails make this a great choice for people looking for longevity from their purchases. Tel: 01652 641491 Web:

n cleathan ng to child Bustiafter kless and boring job for mums and a is ren little messy

Suitable for the sensitive d known for its

Childs Farm, the bran mild and gentle range of toiletries for babies and children, has released new products including a 500ml bottle of its popular baby moisturiser (previously only available in 250ml) and a new suncream range. The 50+ SPF products include a cream, spray and roll on, and are ultra absorbent, keeping young skin fully protected, hydrated and moisturised. All Childs Farm products are suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. 500ml moisturisers are priced at £8.00 and the SPF range starts from £10.

Cleaning up e! child-friendly cleaning products rang dads. But not anymore, with Nimble’s ed to be a hit ante guar ucts prod ing clean stic • Nimble’s come up with three fanta amongst parents. bottles ing baby bottle cleaner that prevents • Milk Buster is the multi-award winn . from going cloudy and smelly over time fragrance-free toy and surface cleaning • Sticky Stopper is the bleach-free and spray. es detergent perfect for poo washes and • Laundry Lover is the non-bio cloth removing pee and food stains. shower Travel Set formats, perfect for baby • They also are now in Gift Set and gifts and travel. Email: Web:


The brand that parents trust

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social media ROSS HEWITT

Notes from the river bank In the thinly veiled guise of researching new things to write about… I’ve gone fishing! ishing and marketing share a lot of common ground and the links are far from tenuous. No aangler worthy of that name begins a ssession wondering what type of fish tthey will catch, or whether there are eeven any fish in the water they are sat by. They don’t go to canals to catch b ssalmon, nor do they sit by lakes hoping ffor cod. The research is always already done, and the bait and location are d cchosen because they know what they want to cat w catch and have found out where to go and what to use. w Your customer cu prospecting and promotion needs the same amount of diligent res research, and it begins with a thorough u understanding of who you are trying to ‘catch’.


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When was the last time you considered what type of customer you are looking for? Do you know their gender, age, education, location and income? Do you know what is valuable to them and where they find out about things (e.g. magazines, websites, and social media)? How do they behave? Are they excitable early adopters who grab bait quickly or are they more cautious and hook-shy? How will they benefit from buying from your store or brand? What itch do you scratch, or desire do you fulfil? Will your product(s) sort out a basic need or are you a luxury purchase? When you have identified your ‘fish’ then examine your brand. I mean take a proper look, not a glance at your logo.

Consider everything; the knowledge of your staff, the quality of the products or the showroom, the after-sales service, the tone of voice in your marketing communication, the speed of response to complaints or queries, how you engage with communities, the professionalism of your website. This is what you have at your disposal to ‘hunt’ with. Is it well suited to the customers you are after? If there is a mismatch between your bait and the fish you want to catch then you are more likely to be drowning worms than catching whoppers. Don’t cast a line until you know the conditions are just right. Go back and review it all again. You

might need to change your bait, or you might need to go after sprats instead of mackerel. Be honest or it doesn’t work. Once you know your target customer is right for your brand then it is time to look in the tackle bag. In there you have your website, your social media accounts, email marketing, blog articles, online videos, eBooks, magazine articles, exhibition stands, search engine marketing, in-store promotions and much more. Which will work best for the product you want to put in front of your ideal customer? Maybe your big-ticket items struggle to be sold online to your cautious potential customers – if that is the case then stop splashing around in ecommerce ponds and use compelling content to get them to come to an in-store event

where they can experience the product in the real world. Perhaps a complex or technical nursery product that needs more explanation to your target customer hasn’t been translating very well in Facebook posts, even though you know that is where your audience hangs out. Invest in better tackle…get a great video made that explains the product quickly and visually and then post that onto your Facebook page. Better still create a series of videos and set up a YouTube channel dedicated to that product or range and promote that through your social media channel. If you own a nursery store, and you just want to get more local people to come to your store then spend a little bit of money on Google Adwords and set the adverts to just be shown to people on your doorstep which you

O nc e you kn ow your ta rg etan d customer is rig ht for your brth e th en it is ti me to look in ve ta ck le ba g. In th ere you haed ia your w eb site, your socia l mblo g ac counts , em ail m arket in g, ks , art icles , on lin e vi deos , eB ooion m ag az ine art icles , ex hi bit in g, stand s, se ar ch en gin e m arketuc h in- store promot ion s an d m more. can do easily, and the same applies to Facebook and Instagram advertising. Marketing, like fishing, is easy if you have done your research and are using the right tackle with the right bait. The hardest part is the research and the planning and that honest appraisal of your brand and your realistic customer.

Exclusive Independent Colourway A light and warmer alternative to our popular taupe grey. Providing your nursery with a subtle and sophisticated look and feel.

A lot of fishermen I know guess at things and tell lies, and they are the noisy ones with empty nets. The successful ones deal only in knowledge and precision as they quietly haul in fish after fish after fish. I wish you all tight lines this summer…


Luxe cot bed

Toy box

Tall chest of drawers

Double wardrobe

® 01652 641490

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Pumping profit Breast milk is considered to be best for baby. However, breastfeeding can cause levels of anxiety for any new mum. We spoke to key industry leaders in this category to find out more information. breast pump is an important and very personal piece of equipment to support mothers at an important time in their lives and for this reason it has to do a great job. This coupled with the level of anxiety that many breastfeeding mothers experience, we continue to see product development across this category providing products that assist. Many mums who breastfeed will eventually express milk. This occurs for a variety of reasons. This could be due to the return to work ethos, or to give more flexibility and freedom to the mother – being able to leave the home for a social evening or to enable dad to become a little more hands on with regard to feeding time – also enabling fathers to experience a better level of bonding. Brand names are also prominent in this sector, as they provide reassurance to mums who look for products to assist them during breastfeeding and also the weaning stage onto bottles. We asked Natalie Harrison (Product Manager, Mam UK) for her thoughts. “Because breast feeding plays such an important part in both the mum and baby’s life at the beginning, we think that mums are far more concerned about the quality of the products perhaps a bit more so than some other categories.” Lisa Craven (UK Marketing Manager, Lansing) agrees. “I think that brand names are extremely important in this category. Becoming a new parent can be very daunting, but knowing a brand or being recommended a branded product like Lansinoh can put parents at ease because they know that they are buying something which won’t let them down when they need it the most.” As this is an extremely emotive category, new mums who are breastfeeding will be information hungry, therefore products are probably researched in advance prior to purchase, but is research conducted online or via word of mouth? “Word of mouth is always important when you’re buying products for you and your baby but mums are just as likely to search for recommendations online.” Said Lisa. “It’s important to recognise the value of both. Award wins are also favoured positively, as well as strong product claims. For example, the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump won gold in the ‘best breast pump’ category at the 2018 Mother & Baby awards, whilst 99% mums would recommend our HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream to other breastfeeding mothers*.” We can see that this sentiment is reflected in our mini survey this month, where more than 79 percent of respondents stated that they had researched products prior to purchase. With this in mind, how are suppliers/ manufacturers assisting new mums and offering platforms that inform and educate with regard to breastfeeding? MAM UK are an example of one company who is very pro-active in offering sources of


information and advice with regard to breastfeeding. “We work very closely with our midwife and our lactation consultant on creating content which is both educational and fair.” Stated Natalie. “We believe breast milk is best for baby, but educating mums on how they can express and store their milk can help them be a bit more flexible and offers a solution in certain situations. We also aim to discuss topics around common problems or queries a breastfeeding mum may have, providing as much information as possible. We often hold live Q&A’s on our Facebook page for mums to speak directly with our midwife Katie Hilton.” With developmental advancements, are more now focussing on the use of an electric pump compared to the more traditional manual options? We posed this question to Lisa. “Every mum’s breastfeeding journey is different and so they need to find the right product that works for them. Whether that’s a manual breast pump or electric. Every mum has different needs, and Lansinoh have made sure that the products we offer are there to help mums breastfeed for longer.” Of course, if a mum is breastfeeding that would mean that they are also using bottles and teats. Are they looking closely at the variety of options available? Natalie says yes as this is another product category which is regarded as very important by parents. “Mums want a bottle teat that is as close to breastfeeding as possible, and a bottle which will ensure babies feed well and of course bemore relaxed. A relaxed baby will feed more. The MAM teats have a high acceptance rate of 94%, this was tested on 1508 babies between 2009 – 2017. Not only is our acceptance rate high, but the numbers we back this with are more than substantial. In terms of the Easy start bottle, the vented base prevents the formation of a vacuum inside the bottle, meaning less air intake, less colic and a more relaxed feeding experience.” We asked what benefits retailers could expect by stocking products in this category? “Based on Nielson data (December 2017), the baby market has seen a decline in both volume and value. However, MAM have seen the strongest absolute growth over the past year, moving to second in the market. We have shown a very strong growth of 24.6% in value and 21% in volume. As a brand we have a fantastic customer service team who get commended on their help from customers all the time. We are passionate of course about our products but more so in helping parents, making their life easier.” It is evident that this sector is one of growth – make sure you carry a plentiful array of stock and you are sure to see a good level of return - remember that each product may not be suitable for every infant – an assortment of items to give the parents a selection of choice would be key – whether that be an electronic or manual pump or of course those all-important feeding bottles and teats.

*Source: Mum Hub Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin Survey – Feb 2018. Base 363 mums 32

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The survey says… Nursery marketing specialists FanFinders surveyed 1500 consumers focussing on breast pumps and feeding aids. Here’s the results. Q1: Did you breast feed?

Yes: 1033 (68.9%) No: 467 (31.1%) Q2: Did you purchase a breast pump?

Yes: 865 (57.6%) No: 635 (42.4%)

If answered yes to question 2: (865 users) Were brand names important to you?

Yes: 522 (60.3%) No: 343 (39.7%)

Did you buy an electric pump?

Yes: 540 (62.4%) No: 325 (37.6%)

Did you research products prior to purchase?

Yes: 684 (79.1%) No: 181 (20.9%)

Did you find your chosen breast pump easy to use?

Yes: 768 (88.8%) No: 97 (11.2%) Did you buy a second pump?

Yes: 116 (13.4%) No: 749 (86.6%)

Q3: Did you also invest in baby bottles and teats?

Yes: 1341 (89.4%) No: 159 (10.6%) If answered yes to question 3: (1341 users) Were the materials used in the production of the teat or bottle important?

Yes: 1039 (77.5%) No: 302 (22.5%)

Q4: Did you purchase a nursing bra or top?

Yes: 1132 (75.5%) No: 368 (24.5%)

If answered yes to question 4: (1132 users) Did you find this comfortable and easy to use?

Yes: 1078 (95.2%) No: 54 (4.8%)

Look! 2 new ways to pump with MAM.


2 functions in one device



Launching at the NEC Baby Show in May, meet the new member of the MAM family! This 2in1 Single Breast Pump offers mums the efficiency of Electric pumping thanks to the smart touch screen device and the flexibility of expressing while on the go by switching to Manual pumping in two simple steps!

BPA BPS free For more information please contact: • T: 02089438880



Nature Sense

We cannot replace Mother Nature – but we can take her as a role model. NUK set themselves the task of getting even closer to nature and developed the new NUK Nature Sense Baby Bottle. What is special about this bottle? The teat has several tiny openings modelled on the milk ducts in a mother’s breast and makes it a bottle that lets babies enjoy a familiar feeling when drinking and a natural flow. A natural feeling when bottle feeding makes it quite easy to change from breastfeeding to bottle feeding. Available in 150 ml and 260ml. Web:

Express yourself

CMS are the proud distributors of renowned breast pump brand Ameda offering a selection of products to meet all of a new mum’s breastfeeding requirements. The range includes the Ameda Lactaline Breastpump which allows you to accurately imitate baby’s sucking action even as baby matures and grows. There are eight adjustable suction levels and four cycle speeds helping to create stimulation that feels both natural and comfortable. You can also reduce pumping time thanks to it being equipped with a dual pump facility. Lightweight and portable, the Lactaline Pump can be battery operated and also has a unique patented sealing system which prevents any milk penetrating the unit and the smooth surface makes cleaning the pump so easy. The Ameda Lactaline Pump comes with two easy to sterilise bottles and is the perfect pump to give you the freedom you want while always being able to provide milk for your baby. The range also includes the Ameda Purely Yours Una Single Electric Breastpump as well as the sterile Ameda Single Breastpump Kits. Tel: 01538 399 541

d ffor supportt Shaped Sh

The Boppy Pillow from Chicco is a versatile four-in-one aid to help both mum and baby receive much needed support. The pillow has an exclusive ergonomic shape that provides a snug and secure fit for every mum, making it an ideal solution for breastfeeding. The internal padding provides support for the baby, while the exclusive insert allows the Boppy pillow to adapt to the shape of every mum without losing its original shape or being too tight. After feeding, Boppy continues to play a crucial role in supporting a baby’s development as the pillow becomes a cosy nest which allows babies from two months to relax with their head slightly raised, assisting digestion and avoiding regurgitation. From six months, Boppy helps encourage movement training by providing a comfortable cushion that facilitates the development of motor experimentation and coordination. Finally, from nine months, the pillow helps support the baby to maintain their balance, training them to gradually remain seated on their own. Web:


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Wash and go Did you know that the silicone and plastic parts of a breast pump get cloudy, greasy and smelly during use because of the heavy fat and protein content in breastmilk? Nimble Milk Buster is here to help keep those expensive breast pump parts and accessories clean, clear and free from grease. It’s made with plant-based ingredients specially formulated to gently detach milk fat and proteins from plastic. It is available in a 200-ml bottle (RRP £4.99) perfect for home use and lasts up to 400 washes and in a 60-ml travel size (RRP £2.99) perfect to clean pumps when out and about. It also now comes in a 400-ml eco refill pouch (RRP £4.99) equivalent to two full size bottles. Email: Web:


Complete solution

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump provides a portable and convenient option for breastfeeding women who want to express discreetly and in comfort whilst on the move. The ergonomic handle means it can be used with one hand without placing any strain on your wrist. The gold award winning 2in1 Double Electric Breast Pump is the ultimate choice for women who want comfort and flexibility, and the convenience of either single or double expression. This pump features three customisable pumping styles that can be tailored to maximise milk production, each pumping style has eight suction levels. Lansinoh pumps are also designed with a hygienic closed system, guaranteed against milk entering the tube. Furthermore, Lansinoh has a range of products to help mums breastfeed for longer. Lansinoh multi -award winning HPA Lanolin helps soothe and protect sore, cracked nipples. 100% natural and hypoallergenic with no perfume, taste or additives, it is the only lanolin product to receive the British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval. There is no need to remove before breastfeeding, making it safe for both mum and baby. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads are comfortable, ultra-absorbent and designed to fit all breast sizes. Their discreet, naturally contoured design ensures mum stays dry, night or day, and they hold up to 20x their own weight. Tel: 0113 205 4204 Web:

n discretio Flawledevess ry range of luxu loped an award-winning, unique,

Lotus Maternity has British made nursing wear. mothers’ offer complete discretion, The tops, designed ‘by midwives for chiffon outer layer provides the perfect whilst creating a flawless outfit. The ding, without compromising nurturing environment for breastfee ng s you to easily check correct positioni functionality. Its transparency allow . etion discr ost upm the and attachment, whilst maintaining valent to cotton of what cashmere The tops use bamboo fabric; the equi , h, sensitive to both mother and baby is to wool. For a super soft, gentle touc g bein as well as c geni aller hypo g bamboo has the added benefit of bein environmentally friendly. Web:

Your first choice New NUK First Choice+ Electric Breast Pump – as flexible and efficient as never before – launching in June! When expressing breast-milk, it should be as flexible and efficient as possible to fit mom‘s individual needs and milk flow. • 16 individual programmes for rhythm and suction strength • Memory function for favourite programme • Powerful pump unit (max. 330 mbar) • Operation with AC adapter or external powerbank* • LCD-smart-screen adapts to the light conditions • Soft silicone cushion and ergonomic breast shield • Silent • Practical strap • Incl. NUK First Choice+ Breast Milk Container 150ml, teat 0-6m S, screw ring, sealing disk, cover, stand, USB-cable, AC adapter • Compatible with NUK First Choice+ bottles and teats *not included Web:


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Providing peace of mind Purflo’s ‘Keep me close’ Breathable Bedside Crib (with stand-alone option) attaches easily to a bed using a drop side rail connection system with six-height adjuster. The clever incline option raises one end to help ease congestion in the event of colds or reflux.  Breathable, air-permeable, anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, making it a safe and clever choice.   Purflo’s Breathable Nest Maxi is a portable soft surface for babies aged 6-36 months. It’s lightweight and assembles easily, with a breathable mesh mattress, air-permeable sides, waterproof inside base and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal providing a hypoallergenic, breathable and chemical free place for baby to sleep. Web:

feature MAM

Two simple steps MAM launches first ever 2 in 1 breast pump reast Milk is best for baby however when mums want to be a bit more flexible or include their partners a Breast Pump is indispensable. Mums can have a break from feeding and offer a wonderful bonding experience to dads, grandparents and other family members. The MAM new 2 in 1 Breast pump offers the most flexible solution for smooth and comfortable expressing, two functions in one device. So for the first time, mums can choose all the efficiency and convenience of an electric Breast pump whilst still benefitting from the flexibility and discretion of a manual pump.



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Simple, efficient and always ready

The concept is as simple as it is smart; switching from Manual to an Electric in two simple steps. Whilst at home there is the option to plug the pump in or take advantage of the rechargeable battery which lasts for five hours on a single charge. This allows for comfortable expressing throughout the home even if it’s not in reach of a power socket. The ‘’one size fits all’’ funnel, is always the perfect fit! Mums also have the choice of expressing with or without the soft silicone inlay ensuring comfortable expressing and thanks to the smart cover your funnel is protected against dirt and dust, keeping your pump hygienically stored at home or on the move.

Electric function

For smooth and comfortable pumping the unit has special stimulation and expression modes which simulate baby’s natural sucking behaviour for smooth and comfortable pumping. The lightweight display unit also shows the battery status, duration of pumping, chosen mode and vacuum strength.

Sleek, easy to use digital display Offering touch screen technology and easy navigation, mums can select up to nine different suction levels for optimum comfort, on both of the two phases of pumping. This sleek little pump is also extremely quiet, ensuring complete discretion while expressing.

Manual function

In manual mode the ergonomic shape makes pumping relaxed and effortless and expressing while you travel, easy! The lightweight manual pump offers mums flexible and discreet pumping anywhere while on the go, at work or travelling without the need to carry the electric unit unnecessarily.

Designed for you!

The MAM 2in1 is compatible with MAM’s full range of Easy start bottles and the Milk storage solution so whether you choose to store and freeze or use quickly, all options are covered. Tel: 02089438880 Email: Web:

The UK’s Only Medically Certified Portable Baby Breathing Monitor Distribu uted in the e UK by Nima ans Home 01937 847 766


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focus PLUSH

Soft Sell The soft toy category in nursery is one that holds huge appeal with consumers – from comforters to keepsakes, what’s not to adore? Plush toys aren’t just staples of the nursery industry, they’re also products that can strike an emotional chord. From birth plush products are bought, whether by the parent or well-wishers looking to celebrate the joyful occasion of a new arrival. A first soft toy or comforter can also quickly become a favourite item with babies and toddlers and perhaps become an item that is cherished way into adulthood as a treasured memento. However, the plush category isn’t just about soft cuddly toys, this category also represents a whole host of products, including soft playmats, and toys that include additional functions, such as lights and sounds - all of which fall perfectly into the gifting sector. Here we highlight products that are currently available to order.

Goodnight sweetheart

First Dreams Baby Bear is designed to comfort and reassure babies as they drift off to sleep. It features a soft tummy with a projection to serve as a soothing night light, as well as the ability to play a goodnight message that can be activated at the touch of a button. There is also the option to play soothing melodies or a light show as babies fall to sleep, all of which can be controlled by parents to suit individual needs. First Dreams Baby Bear is available in light blue, light pink and neutral. Web:

Feeling plu sh The 2018 range from th

e Home of Cla gorgeous infant ssic Characters plush collections stars a host of that feature som childhood favour e of the most-lov ites including Pe ed ter Rabbit, Padd Much I Love Yo ington Bear, Gue u and Winnie th ss How e Po oh. A beautiful new addition to Rai nbow’s Classic Pe Collection this summer will be ter Rabbit Nurse the irresistibly cu ry Rabbit and Flop te ‘Made with Lo sy Bunny nurser ve’ Peter y toys. Made fro knitwear fabric, m soft and tactile the nostalgic ‘M ade with Love’ designed to be ch range of soft to erished forever ys has been and make the pe Rainbow’s finest rfect heirloom gi Classic Winnieft. collection stars the-Pooh ‘Hundr some of Disney ed Acre Wood’ ’s most loved an whimsical rang d iconic charac e of high-qualit ters in a y nursery toys. T features one of he signature co the world’s mos llection t fa mous bears; Win loveable friends nie-the-Pooh an : Eeyore, Tigge r and Piglet. d his Tel: 01329 22 7300

Web: www.rain bowd


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Feelliing pllayfful F

Since 1988, Nattou has been designing and produ cing playful little friends for the most special little people. Not only does Nattou supply soft toys and comforters that little ones love, the collections also bring nurseries to life with room sets made up of plush accessories such as growth charts, play mats and sofas featuring a cast of cuddly characters. Providing a wide selection of colour ranges, Natto u’s constantly evolving collections range from soft cream and beige hues, to modern silver and teal. The latest collection Piu Piu is perfec t for premature babies, the plaiting of the tentacles remind them of the umbilical cord, which helps them feel safe and secure. Tel: 01278 434440 Web:

© Disney / © Disney. Based on the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Winnie the Poohâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard.


k . Follow us u . o c . s esign d w o b n i Call 01329 227300 or visit www.ra

The Home of Classic Characters

focus PLUSH

Pastel for plush The gorgeous polka dot plush teddies at keen prices from Keel Toys are a retailer staple and must have brand. It’s designed with pastel embroidery to highlight key features of the smiling faces and polka dot trimmings to distinguish and add to the sweetness and appeal of the teddies. The soft plush is suitable from birth so an ideal choice for welcoming gifts, hampers, baby showers, and early birthday gifts for the nursery. The range is wholesome; offering a variety of styles of plush as well as colours and themes and together make for a heart melting in store display. The collection available at Baby Brands Direct includes ring rattles, chime bears, comforters, classic bears, rabbits, wild animals and bedtime delights. Email: Web:

Hello Ambeberr Fawn. She

S y hello to Am Sa Mat as well iis a 31” long Baby ubbaNub as an adorable W ct baby pacifier toy. Perfe at special th r shower gifts fo ne washable. hi ac M . new mum packaged WubbaNub comes r, making de lin in an acetate cy MSRP: g. in giv t gif r it great fo ds un . Baby Mat – 55 Po unds. Po WubbaNub – 18 Toys. fed uf St er Mary Mey Web: www.marym

Play away

Soothing friend

Ollie the Owl Grofriend has flown in and stolen the hearts of many, the plush Sleep aid is utterly adorable and helps parents settle their young babies to sleep. With CrySensor technology Ollie automatically activates when baby cries, soothing little ones gently back to sleep. Available to independent Nursery retailers from July Ollie is now joined by a range of co ordinate products including a cuddly owl comforter, Supersoft velour Ollie Grobag and perfect for newborns the Ollie Grosnug. This beautiful Ollie family collection makes the perfect gift or newborn starter set for parents and parents to be. Web:


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Red Kite Baby offer a selection of padded floor gyms that come with detachable hanging toys making sure little ones are entertained for the duration of their playtime while also improving their hand eye coordination. These gyms are very well padded and when baby gets a bit older they can still be used as a playmat by simply taking away the toy arches. Available designs are the on trend cute Unicorn in soft pink or the padded bright and funky Safari design. Supplied in colour gift boxes to make ideal gifts. Tel: 01454 326 555 Web:

Cuddle companions

Seeing the growing popularity of the Slumber Buddies range, Summer Infant will shortly be launching new Slumber Buddies Deluxe characters with cry activation technology. The new cry activation mode will automatically turn on the Slumber Buddies Deluxe companion when baby becomes unsettled, helping them to drift back off to sleep themselves. All of the Slumber Buddies include a multicolour starry sky light display and choice of five different calming sounds from lullabies to heartbeat and nature sounds, making them the ideal bedtime companion for soothing little ones to sleep. Available in a choice of cuddly characters there is something for everyone and Slumber Buddies Deluxe can make a great gift for baby showers and birthdays. These deluxe characters will be available from June with a guide RRP of £24.99 and will include Pip the Puppy, Dippy the Dinosaur, Bailee the Bunny as well as the exclusive Luna the Lamb for a key UK partner. Web:

Simply baaaaariliant If you’re looking for super soft snuggly plush then look no further than the Sweet Dreamers flock. Their Baa Baa Blankies, featuring ewan’s loveable face in classic purple or grey, are snuggly and plush with a lovely silk edging which babies will love to touch. Perfect for helping little ones drift off to dreamland at home or on the go, without the need to count sheep! The baaaaariliant ewan snuggly comforter also has super soft snuggly plush and silky fabrics, knotted legs for tiny fingers to explore and Velcro tail to secure dummy or teether and help keep it close by. ewan snuggly is just the right size for tiny hands to hold and is perfect for cuddling at any time of day. Tel: 02392 262332 Email: web:

Everyone loves Disney IMC has revealed a new special feature plush addition for AW 2018 to its master toy licence in partnership with Disney. Mickey and Minnie are supported via a TV series on Disney Junior, targeted at pre-schoolers. The Series called Mickey and the Roadster Racers features Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy as they race around on their exciting adventures. Series 2 of the popular show launches in September 2018, and IMC will be launching new products across a variety of categories to support the property. For AW 2018, IMC will be expanding its toy line within special feature plush with the launch of Mickey and Minnie Happy Birthday lines.

Beautiful Toys for Today’s Mums & Babies.

Heather Hedgehog

Web: www.

Contact Claire at Tel: +44 (0)1243 780501 or

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nursery matters JOHN BARKER

Barking Mad This issue John Barker takes a look at the highs and lows of social media. wonder how many of you can remember a time before social media? The little app on our telephones we all love to hate is a brilliant tool when it works to our advantage, however it’s a weapon the consumer can hit us over the head with when things don’t go their way. In its simplest sense social media is a must for any business, big or small. It doesn’t matter what your poison is, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even Myspace, Yes, even Myspace! I can guarantee that those of you reading this with a phone that can run social media will have at least one app installed. It’s become part of modern life, a way to stay connected to friends, family and even businesses we like or trade with. Some of you may find it hard to believe but Facebook is more than just a way for you to share cat videos and push your political beliefs on to others. I thought this month I’d share some of the highs and lows I’ve experienced through our Pramland facebook page. One of the downsides of social media is that it is never off. It doesn’t sleep and unfortunately nor do some of its users. I, for some odd reason decided it would be a brilliant idea to install the Facebook Pages app on my phone. It’s a brilliant tool that means I can deal with Facebook posts and message wherever and whenever. The big drawback is that my phone has a tendency to bleep all night as insomniac customers must know the price of a pram at 4:12am. I can only imagine someone laying there in bed, drenched in sweat, tossing and turning unable to clear their head. . . .I cannot sleep until I know how much Pramland charge for a CabrioFix car



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seat. . .I know I’ll send them a facebook message – because that’s what rational, sane people do in the small hours. The one thing more annoying than the midnight messenger is the, what I like to call “late night prompter”. These annoying people decide that at 12:43am they must know the price of a stroller you posted an image of 4 years ago (how do people manage to find the oldest post on your page and ask if you “still got this plz?”). Despite your automated “Someone will message you soon” response they persist by sending a “?” every 20/30 minutes until they get a human response. The fact that the only people up and about at this time are either parents on late night feeding duties or vampires would give the game away as to the delayed response, but not to these people! Unfortunately the internet does not have an entry criteria so some of the special people that have access to it and subsequently our Facebook page are truly gifted. One such person managed to unlock their phone, open the Facebook app and message the following at some ungodly hour – The following is a true message I have received from a customer after our move. It is worth noting that this was received 3 months after our move, a move that has been well documented on our Facebook page and in the local media. “Were have you moved from off holderness road has I don’t know were you gone”. After I stopped laughing I decided to reply in the most professional way I could, by simply answering the question. “Hi, yes we’ve moved from 346 Holderness Road, thanks”, now this will have no doubt

got them scratching their heads but I think you’ll agree it does answer their question. Remember folks never be rude and always remain professional! My pet hate is the Facebook user that tags their friend in a post then proceeds to have a full blown conversation on your post, complete with recommendations for different products and stores! You’ve received a new product in the store and take the time to craft a post telling your customers it’s now available, then someone goes and tags their friend. . .minutes go by then beep their friend replies. Within half an hour they’ve exchanged 100 messages and discussed the fact that they don’t like the product you’ve posted and that if they go “down the road” they’ll find a completely different product (with completely different features) at a completely different price. Why are you having this discussion on my post? Do you think we can start charging rent for space used up on our wall? Then we come to Facebook reviews. We took a very brave decision a few years ago to allow people to review us. Why do I say it’s brave? Well it only takes one person to leave a negative review with a lone star rating to undo all your hard work. It’s a risk vs reward system that will either prove to be a very useful tool to encourage new customers or send them running to the hills. I try not to concentrate on the potential negatives; instead I encourage customers to leave positive reviews and ratings in an attempt that should we attract a negative review at some point our overall positive isn’t ruined. You can’t please all the people all the time

(not sure who said that but it’s very true) so a negative review is inevitable, as long as the negatives don’t outweigh the positives things are all good. Some customers don’t seem to understand what good customer service is. Your average customer seems to think good customer service is getting their own way when things go wrong. In reality it’s ensuring that you do everything possible to attempt to resolve a customer’s issue with minimum impact to the customer or business. They say there’s nothing like word of mouth and potential customers do read your Facebook reviews (I’ve asked customers and an alarming number told me that it was a factor in choosing to shop with us) so it’s worth spending time to encourage positive comments and interaction from your customers. We bribe out customers using a simple prize draw system, leave us a review and at the end of the month you could win an instore credit. It’s been a surprisingly effective method of increasing not only our star rating but also our reputation in the region. So, what does the future hold for social media? Not even Mark Facebookburger truly knows where the world is heading, however it’s safe to say social media is here to stay and it’s becoming an essential tool for all businesses. Love it or loathe it you’ve got to be on it. Next month I’ll be in a super happy mood as the new Han Solo movie will be out and that means no matter what the customers do they won’t upset me . . . unless they message me in the middle of the midnight showing!



To encourage the golfing crème de la crème of the Nursery industry, Nursery Today introduces The BabyStyle Trophy. To be a winner be a part of a day of golf and essential networking. The team four-ball has always been closely fought and up until now each team member has received a handsome memento of a great day’s golf.

Now the company they represent as winners of the four-ball competition will hold this handsome trophy in their showroom/office for one year as proof of their participation in this wonderful sport. MAKE A DATE IN YOUR DIARY Wednesday the 27th June, Puckrup Hall, Nr. Tewkesbury and just a couple of minutes off the M5.

Cost £100

For full details contact Malcolm Naish on 01442 289930 or email to book your team’s place.


Cut above the rest Baby and toddler oral care is big business. For example, mums today are starting to recognise the importance of setting a daily routine from a very young age and using products that have been specifically designed for purpose.

Good clean fun Play Playbrush is a device which simply attaches to the handle of any manual toothbrush and connects con via Bluetooth to an app on a smartphone or tablet. Children aged 3 and sm up can play four interactive games, including tackling green decay monsters, saving the tac tooth too fairy, flying planes and painting pictures pic and Playbrush translates every tooth brushing movement into gameplay, allowing br children to actively control the games as ch they th brush. During each 2-minute adventure, ad the fun games encourage children to brush at the correct speed and ch equally within all quadrants of the mouth, eq meaning m brushing is not just entertaining, but b effective as children can also collect rewards re and feedback with every brush. And A as each child sets up their own profile on o the app to work with their own toothbrush, the whole family can share a t single s Playbrush which makes it great value v for money and also a brilliant family activity. a

Dental hygiene made easier Summer Infant understands the importance of good dental hygiene, but recognise that it’s not always easy for parents to get their little ones to comply at brush time! That’s why they’ve got a really useful 3 Piece Oral Care Kit that makes taking care of baby’s gums and teeth easy. The three piece set includes a finger toothbrush which is perfect to clean first teeth as it gives more control, a gum stimulator which is good for the hard to reach areas at the back of the mouth, and a soft bristled toddler toothbrush that is the perfect size for cleaning those first teeth. The set has a guide retail of only £3.99 offering exceptional value for money. Web:

Feeling fruity

The Baby Banana range of teethers and toothbrushes offers teething infants toothbrushes that allows baby to move toothbrushes safely around the mouth. Crafted from 100% food-grade silicone, the best material to serve the “flexible” needs, the Baby Banana toothbrushes are not only adorable, but they are also durable enough to help tackle the toughest teething troubles. Through using the Baby Banana products, babies and toddlers develop life-long oral care habits during the vital teething phase. NEW in 2018 is the three pack Smoothie Soothers. Easy to hold, 100% soft silicone fruit teethers with unique hollow and squishy sensation, provide the perfect blend of shapes and textures to sooth e sore teeth and gums. The multiple award-winning Baby Banana team did not invent the toothbrush, but they did make it safer! Five millio n children cannot be wrong! Tel: 020 8997 7054 email: | ukma

Email: E

Double the c lean Bickiepegs Finger Toothbrush & G um ba

Massager is desig by’s first teeth an ned to gently cle d massage gums. an a Regular use is a baby early to the great way to intro sensations of ha duce vin g teeth and gum evening daily us s cleaned. Morni e helps maintain ng and good oral hygien The Finger Toot e. hbrush & Gum M double-sided with assager is soft bristles on on e side to ensure that teeth are kept clean, an d then a dimpled reverse-si de which offers gu ms a soothing massage . It is important to clean teetth from the momen h t they erupt and keeping a baby’s gums clean will ensure that th eir mouth are in good cond hss ition - ready for the arrival of teeth. Suitable fo r babies of 0-18 Email: enquiries months. @bick Tel: 01224 79 0626 Web: www.bick


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Makes brushing teeth interactive and fun! Attaches to a manual tooth brush and connects via Bluetooth to games on a smartphone or tablet.

3 Improves oral health 3 Developed with dentists 3 Loved by children and parents Playbrush works with 95% of manual toothbrushes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; take care the handle is not too thick and has no suction cups. 2x longer brushing

Regular (2x daily) brushing

Disstributed in the e UK by Nimans Home 01937 847 766 Email

100% of all parents agree: brushing is more fun


Creating one million sippers teeth”- is the ‘go-to’

Babycup First Cups - “The little cup that’s kind to baby for health experts when recommending weaning cups, and, with over a million mini sippers and counting, the brand is making families smile across the globe! Supporting oral, dental and childhood health by encouraging open cup sipping, Babycup is a well-respected and trusted British brand that continually receives 5-star rave reviews from consumers at home and overseas. With much of the developed world seeing a childhood oral health crisis, Babycup First Cups are championing a healthy approach from the start, which is a message that resonates with professionals and parents. Babycup First Cups are a high quality, multi award winning product, with new accolades in 2018 including the ‘Made for Mums’ Editor’s choice award – an accolade only awarded to four brands each year. Babycup have firmly established themselves as a weaning essential both at home, with leading retailers such as JoJo Maman Bébé and Waitrose, and now internationally with distribution in over 30 territories. Beautifully designed and perfectlysized for little mouths and hands, Babycup’s mini open cups are the first cup on everyone’s lips and is the little high chair essential that offers big benefits. Email: Web:

und Smiles alltonguro e and inner cheeks, especially after

Wiping a baby’s mouth, gums, s while also familairising baby feeding, removes build-up of bacteria and sugar le. possib as early with an oral care regime as a range of gentle and Brush-Baby, the infant dental-care specialists, have cally for littles ones specifi cts uniquely formulated gum and dental-care produ age. of aged from newborn to 6 years ped in collaboration Designed by a mum of a teething baby, and develo s, Toothpastes and lWipe Denta with a dentist, the easy-to-use products include Teething Products. Web:


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Take T k a bite t

Bickiepegs Natural Teething Biscuits provide both a hard surface on which to cut teeth and vital exercise for the develo pment of a baby’s jaw, jaw muscles and gums. Bickiepegs satisfy emerg ing teeth and help ease the pain associated with teething. They conta in no artificial colouring, preservatives or flavouring and no added sugar or salt. NB Please read the enclosed leaflet for full information and directions for use. Tel: 01224 790626 Email: Web:

Soothing solution The Nibbling boutique range of premium teething accessories combines fashionable designs with ethical materials, to provide safe and practical solutions to help soothe a teething baby. The first of its kind in the UK, Nibbling is a must-have for any style-conscious parents looking for an effective solution to teething pain. Made from untreated natural wood and 100% food-grade silicone, the popular Natural Collection with its distinct combination of textures, is ideal for soothing baby’s gums, whilst the noise from the rattle provides a much-needed distraction. NEW playful designs are available in grey, blue, mint and pink. Also new this spring, is the on-trend Cruise Collection, available in black/marble and navy/grey as both an attractive teething necklace and rattle ring teether. Tel: 07943 958860 Email: Web:

Experts in Teething since 1925 Bickiepegs Natural Teething Biscuits have been made to the same recipe of 3 ingredients and no added salt or sugar since 1925. An alternative to a plastic teething ring, their finger shape reaches the front and back of the mouth. Their strong surface can help ease teething pain as teeth ‘cut’ through gums and baby exercises their jaw muscles, vital for developing chewing skills required when moving onto solid food.

The Bickiepegs Finger Toothbrush & Gum Massager fits over an adults finger. Dual sided it has soft bumps to soothe teething gums plus fine bristles ideal for brushing those first teeth. Recommended by Health Professionals and trusted by parents.

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To stock Bickiepegs products in your store contact: or call 01224 790626


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Technically speaking Technology is part of everyone’s daily lives. Whether it is being utilised at home or at work, it’s there - pretty much in every aspect of our daily routine, so it’s not surprising that technology has also moved with the times and is now incorporated in many nursery products. Whether it’s an intelligent digital baby monitor, a soothing product, for example a baby swing or cot mobile or a tech savvy toy, there’s no getting away from the simple fact we live in a tech world.

Picture courtesy of Summer Infant

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The Nokia Thermo is a Wi-Fi connected temporal artery thermometer that features a 16-sensor array that requires no contact, and delivers the fastest, most precise temperature possible. Automatic sync with the Nokia Health Mate App allows you to track temperature readings, get reminders, and input related symptoms and medications for advice about your child right on your smartphone. Web:

Ewan gets an up pdate

Measuring i movement Parents don’t vibrate like bouncy seats or swing like swings, they bounce and sway, and that’s what the mamaRoo does: it moves like you do. The 4moms team used motion sensors to measure the movements of real mums and dads as they soothed their babies and replicated those motions in the mamaRoo. It’s the only infant seat that has five unique motions to choose from as well as being Bluetooth(r) enabled - allowing you to control both the motion and sound of your mamaRoo remotely from a smart device. It also features built-in nature sounds and an MP3 plug in. Tel: 0161 335 2500 Web:


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SweetDreamers flagship product ewan the dream sheep hit the market in 2010 and since then his popularity and acclaim has sky-rocketed, culminating in numerous award wins and thousands of 5 star reviews. He now has an impressive fan base and is ‘the’ newborn essential on most parents’ wish list. With his four soothing sounds and calming pink glow, all wrapped up in a super cute cuddly plush sheep, what isn’t there t to love? And just when you thought the he UK’s favou favo rite it sleep l aid id could ldn’t ’ get any better b , the latest member of the flock, ewan Deluxe, offers additional features: an intelli i gent smartCRY sensor which automatically activa tes when baby stirs helpin h g to resettle them, plus a removable pod, meaning ewan can now be washe w d, keeping him clean and healthy!

TTel: 02392 262332 E Email: W Web:

Monitor success

ro What a heBaby Monitor is a wearable device which

Snuza Hero Portable Breathing rise and fall. The multi award attaches to baby’s nappy and monitors abdominal and will alert parents if winning monitor detects the slightest of breaths e. If no breathing is minut per s breathing is weak or less than eight breath baby. After three rouse to effort an in e vibrat will detected for 15 seconds, it ts that breathing paren will alert vibration/rousing incidents, a ‘Rouse Warning’ 5 seconds of no onal additi an If has stopped for 15 seconds on three occasions. . sound will alarm le breathing is detected a sharp audib standards and made from Snuza Hero is manufactured according to strict are the first company in Snuza durable material that is safe for use on baby and breathing monitor for baby ble porta IIb Class the World to bring a fully certified nation of years of intensive Europe to market. Becoming certified is the culmi been completely redesigned and work, where the Snuza management system has er of safety features, it meets numb a of on certified to ISO 13485. With the additi e Directives to which it was Devic cal Medi ean Europ the highest standards of the tested against. products which monitor The EU has been tightening the requirements for forbidden to sell nonnow is it ries count some physiological functions and in of Snuza Hero satisfies status new The ors. monit ent ovem certified breathing/m the ultimate in piece of ts paren all European regulatory requirements and offers mind reassurance.

New Baby Pixel Monitor coming soon with pioneering, patent pending technology from Summer Infant. Packed with innovative features the Baby Pixel Monitor will provide extra peace of mind to parents, bringing a greater level of safety and control. Offering a large 5” colour touchscreen, the Baby Pixel Monitor includes a Moonlite enhanced night vision boost, 360Tilt camera steering to remotely pan, tilt and zoom, and a Sleepzone virtual boundary to alert parents when baby moves outside of a pre-set virtual border. The camera’s Moonlite night vision boost will gently light up its viewing area for a crisp, full-colour view of baby in the dark, to allow parents to see their little one more clearly. While the 360Tilt feature lets parents see all angles of the room to avoid unnecessary trips to the nursery. Complete with voice activation (VOX) the screen automatically turns on when baby begins to cry, babble or fuss and returns to power save mode after 30 seconds with no activity. The monitor also includes, two-way talkback, on screen nursery temperature display, a remote controlled soft glow nightlight with two colour options, sound activated lights and a USB port for the ultimate baby monitor package. Available from August with a guide RRP of £199.99, the Summer Infant Baby Pixel Monitor offers great value for money considering its extensive set of innovative features and functionality. Web:


New game changer N h Swandoo has managed to develop a ground breaking car seat that is a real game changer for the industry. Albert‘s (after Albert Einstein) harmonious proportions, refined design and innovative features set it apart from other car seats. High quality fabric, a unique shell structure and state of the art features such as glow in the dark seatbelt guides, reflectors,a neatly integrated UV 50+ sun canopy, one handed adjustable headrest, 4 position handlebar and a memory foam pillow for newborns are some of the features that make this seat one of a kind. Swandoo is looking to establish distribution for the UK. Web:

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Shop matters with NSG aby Show season is well and truly upon us, and I’ve come to the decision personally that if you can’t beat them, join them. It seems that the industry is evolving and we must move with it. One (very brave) NSG member has set up their own local Baby Show, going against the grain, which really made me think about this a little more in depth – surely we should support such a set up as independent retailers, where WE are the main focus.


Yasmin Ali, NSG

I’d like to give a massive shout out to Lorraine Rossi from Nurseryland Wakefield – before she went to the iCandy Stockist page, she mentioned her idea to me; and I was thinking… how to pitch it, will the supplier listen, do they care? Let me think on it. Lorraine jumps straight in next morning (Did she sleep at all that night?!) – proposing that independent retailers man the iCandy stand at a baby show. It makes sense right? Who best to demonstrate, talk about and sell the product than the very people w do it day in day out? Contrary who to what I had initially thought, not o did Martin listen, but there was only d discussion, points raised – and now a l load of indies are going to be on the i iCandy show at the NEC in Birmingham, me included! Thank y Lorraine! Thanks also to Kevin you from Paul Stride and the team at Dorel for sorting out things for us also in preparation. I’m super excited about the prospect of d doing what I do best! Did you miss me last month? I’m t terrible with dates, and ran a tad late, a you do! So apologies for that! as Harrogate 2018 was fun, it was great to see it jam packed with NSG members, some exhibiting! It was a small show, despite that it seemed to have serious people in attendance, from what retailers have told me, most bought – however the overall feeling I got from NSG members was that a show that needed at least 2 days to get around could be done in a matter of hours. I disagree, and I hope you read and think about why I think that. Trade shows are about meeting your main accounts, yes – they have offers, new lines etc. They are ALSO about


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finding something new…a niche, something different. The Toy shows, gift shows, the Scottish Trade Show I attended in January are JAM PACKED with all sorts of things, which I think retailers are missing out on. Go to your main accounts but spend the rest of the day going around to see what else is on show. Toys, accessories; that small item which might just be the next big thing. I think the big winners at the show were the likes of Cuddles, Rosy Fuentes, Roma, Bespoke Bebe, Bozz, Mee-Go and other brands, whose sold focus is the independent retailer. Maybe going to Cologne has meant that many don’t bother with Harrogate…which I don’t think is wise. Not everyone shows in Cologne, thought the UK Pavillion is growing, support for the UKs only Nursery Trade show shouldn’t dwindle any further. In other news…NT and I have decided to change the direction and frequency of my articles. My time as a contributor for the NSG has been an incredible experience and nothing short of a privilege, which has huge impact in bringing together the entire industry – especially for independent retailers. I for one love reading what retailers have been up to and are planning, what new suppliers are bringing to the table – and have loved having this platform to speak on behalf of the Nursery Support Group. That being said, I’m going digital! Find me on YouTube, All Things Yas (My personal Facebook group). The NSG is still running and buzzing, anyone interested in joining us, you must be a bricks and mortar pram/nursery retailer – please search NSG V.2 to join. For everyone else, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, makers and creators…get over to Nursery Trade, where you can link with us at the NSG directly as our members are on both groups. Pram Talk (linking independent retailers and consumers) is in full swing and morphing into something very interesting! I’d like to thank the entire team at NT for their support and encouragement over the years,

especially Penny – who works tirelessly to bring this to you, she is a credit to the industry; and has been a saint putting up with my bouncy emails, crazy articles and random photos! A huge thank you to my mum, Rakia – the one and only Mrs A! Thanks mum for bringing me into the industry, showing me the ropes and teaching me the importance of independent businesses, the rewards of honest and hard work - and the need for the retailers to have a voice. She has given me so much advice and guidance through this period and throughout my life; I’ve worked hard to hopefully have reached a point where she can say that’s my daughter! And hopefully be proud of me. In the meantime, until my new column appears, I’ll leave you with some pics…the highlight for me at Harrogate, was Elliot from Bébélephant – what a sport, thanks for getting into the travel cot for me! I love this product, definitely one to think about, its operation is its USP and I think social media will love it retailers, contact the lovely Gem at Babyhub Yas x


The Duplicate Content Monster Just like most Western political systems, Google works on a ‘first past the post’ system when you’re talking about content. This means fresh, unique content is key to success. ‘That’s great!’ we hear you saying, ‘because I write my own product descriptions and all the content in my website is unique’. But is it? Here David Fairhurst takes a closer look. f you run an eCommerce website then it’s a fair bet you have a duplicate content issue, but there are many other ways your website’s structure can be doing your bottom line harm. Read on for some ways in which your website content isn’t as unique as you thought it was.


eCommerce and Parameters Most eCommerce software will use parameter strings of some kind to control the content which appears on a page. Whilst URL’s can be re-written dynamically to get rid of parameter strings on the website, behind the scenes you will find dozens if not hundreds of duplicate content pages for each of the pages in your website. Google can happily step through and index all these pages, creating a massive duplicate content issue. Google’s own Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is a great tool for showing where duplicate content issues due to parameters. Using the ‘URL Parameters’ section of Search Console, website owners can quickly identify where issues lie relating to parameter-led duplication problems and the great thing is that this tool allows you to directly tell Google’s search spiders to discount the duplicated pages. Go to webmasters/tools/crawl-urlparameters if you have an account or sign up for a Google Search Console account if you don’t and check, it’s a real eye opener.

Is Your Site Secure? Google has been very keen to push adoption of the https secure protocol for all pages on websites. The reason for this is that websites which don’t use https across all pages can potentially let attackers into that website. It isn’t just eCommerce checkout pages which

are a security issue, even something as innocuous as a contact form can be used to gain access to a website or server! Because of the rise of use of https, this has caused a rise in duplication between http and https. Google treats both the http and https version of your website as separate entities, therefore if you have a website which can be reached by both http and https you in effect have 100% duplication across the website. Not good! Make sure that if you’re on https, page level 301 redirection is in place to this from the http version of your website.

Are You WWW? Whilst you’re checking your http to https redirects, make sure that you don’t have both https:// and https:// www indexable in search results. The ‘www’ bit of the URL string is actually referring to a sub-folder on your website. Google again treats https:// and https://www as two separate entities and if you have both indexable then Google will be seeing 100% duplicate content. Make sure that non-www to www redirects are set up and as a ‘belt and braces’ approach, add rel=”canonical” to all pages pointing towards the https://www URL’s so that Google knows which ones to index.

Getting a New Website? Do you have a current website but are getting a new website developed? When you get a new website designed it is always good practise to block off all search engine spiders from being able to gain access to the new website until it goes live. There are a few reasons for this, however from a search engine perspective you really don’t want search engine spiders crawling all over the content in your new website in its

development folder if it has the same content as on your live website. This is again is 100% duplication which will penalise both your current website and your development site. Block off search engine spiders either using server level security, . htaccess (username and password for access) or robots.txt (with a noindex tag) so that search engine spiders ignore the website. It’s a good idea to also include rel=”canonical” tags to all of the pages pointing towards the actual domain the new site will sit on as well.

Is Somebody Stealing Your Content?

David Fairhurst Head of Creative Online Marketing - Intelligent Retail

Your web content is valuable and spammers know it! You may find that scraper websites will take your website and display it as their own in order to make money, which isn’t great news for your own website as this can land you with duplicate content penalties. It’s again a good idea to use rel=”canonical” tags on all pages in your website, this way if someone does ‘borrow’ all of your website text Google won’t be in any doubt where that content came from. You should also think about using absolute URL’s (for instance rather than /page) if your website can support this. Absolute URL’s embedded in web pages are a clear indication where the original content came from, again stopping abuse from people who want to clone your content.

Image source,

David Fairhurst Head of eCommerce, Intelligent Retail, David has been involved with Search Engine Optimisation and web development since 1999 and has spoken at many different retail and SEO conferences including Spring Fair and SES London

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BPA notice board Important date for your diary

Robert Anslow M anaging Director If you r company is a me mb er of the Bab y Pro duc ts Ass ocia tion and you are not cur rently receivin g me mb ers ’ e-bulletins wit h industry upd ates , but would like to, ple ase em ail juli e@ b-p -a. org wh o will add you to the databa se.


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The Baby Products Association’s Annual General Meeting will take place on 19th June 2018 at the Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London; and once again promises to provide valuable networking opportunities for its members and information on relevant industry topics. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into place on 25th May 2018 and will affect every business throughout Europe in terms of how they are required to handle an individual’s personal data. This subject is causing much confusion and Sara Ludlam of law firm 3Volution will give an informative presentation explaining what companies need to consider to ensure compliancy including early insights into how companies have fallen foul of the new requirements. In addition, Phil Owen, assistant director for the Office of Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial

UK Pavilions proving ever popular Association’s UK Pavilion at CBME

The Baby Products in Shanghai in July is now totally sold out. Simon ted to Anslow, UK Pavilion organiser says: “We are deligh one is It show. this for board have so many companies on ed, attend have we that t vibran most of the biggest and tunities and the Chinese market provides amazing oppor look We try. indus ry for British companies in the nurse in show ssful succe er anoth forward to reporting the UK July.”Those companies wishing to participate in mber Septe in ne Pavilion at Kind und Jugend in Colog as soon as forms ng booki are advised to return their ning. remai s space last few a just are there possible as Adrian Sneyd, UK Pavilion organiser explains: “The it has Baby Products Association is limited in the space 4.1 hall new the with on Pavili UK available for the again. added last year proving to be a sort after location their ded expan have A number of companies exhibiting space less is there so 2018 for space requirements available. There is a tendency nowadays for some I exhibitors to leave booking very late for shows, but there as ent ointm disapp to believe that this may lead ng to simply won’t be room to accommodate those wanti .”One event ’s participate in the Pavilion at September on in major advantage of being placed in the UK Pavili ulsory comp the for rate ed reduc the is Cologne this year iated negot iation Assoc The e. charg media sed increa UK really hard and consequently all participants in the with er togeth This, nt. discou 25% a e Pavilion will receiv and coffee free a as such ts benefi onal the additi rst day networking area and, networking event on the fi location able prefer a on Pavili UK of the show, make the are forms ng booki and ation inform to exhibit.Full ct available on the website at – or conta or Adrian on 01902 882 280 email:

Strategy will explain why and how the OPSS sponsored the development of the PAS 7100: 2018 Code of Practice on consumer product safety related to recalls and other corrective actions. He will also give an update on UK market surveillance (Trading Standards), including the roll out of PAS 7100 to Local and Primary Authorities. All members will receive an invitation to the AGM in due course and are urged to come along and support the trade association and also have an opportunity to have an input in industry matters. Julie Milne, membership and technical manager for the Association says: “As well as fact finding with the two speakers, the AGM provides a great opportunity for members to get together and network with industry colleagues and keep up-to-date with industry matters. It also gives the chance to ask questions about topics concerning their business including technical and safety matters and learn about the Association’s future initiatives.”

Latest members to join the Association Little Tree Babycare Co Ltd

Tel: 020 3319 3467 Email: Website: Contact: Frank Chen Dumforter Ltd

Tel: 07855 778191 Email: Website: Contact: Johanne Holman Micralite Ltd (coming back to membership after a period of absence)

Tel: 07701 286901 Email: Website: Contact: Samantha Donnelly Connido Ltd

Tel: 07534 896115 Email: Website: Contact: Romi Mathew Diono

Tel: 01827 310557 Email: Website: Contact: Jo Ebdon-Muir Itsy Products Ltd

Tel: 0161 464 6502 Email: Website: Contact: Christopher Grunwell


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31/01/2018 17:24

Nursery Today  

The May 2018 issue of Nursery Today is packed full of features of interest, including Changing Bags & Accessories, Breast Pumps & Feeding Ai...

Nursery Today  

The May 2018 issue of Nursery Today is packed full of features of interest, including Changing Bags & Accessories, Breast Pumps & Feeding Ai...